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at jhttp : //books . qooqle . com/ 



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CHARLES MINOT 

Class of 1828 




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THE LIFE 

OF 

HIS roVal highness 

THE PRINCE CONSORT 

VOL. IV. 



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THE LIFE 



OF 



HIS EOYAL HIGHNESS 



THE PRINCE CONSORT 



BY 



THEODORE MARTIN 



WITH PORTRAITS 



VOLUME THE FOURTH 



FOURTH EDITION 



.£ LONDON 
SMITH, ELDER, & CO., 15 WATERLOO PLACE 

1879 



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TO 

THE QUEEN'S 

MOST EXCELLENT MAJESTY. 



Madam, 

I have the honour to place in Your Majesty's hands 
another instalment of the life of the Prince Consort — another, 
but still not, as I hoped it might have been, the last. 

From the moment it became necessary to go into the 
history of Your Majesty's reign, in order to enable the world 
to form an estimate of what the Prince was in himself, and of 
what he did for England, the compass of my task ceased to 
be within my control. It could be regulated only by the 
importance of the events to be discussed, and by the amount 
of detailed explanation necessary to make them fully under- 
stood. I was in the position of one, who, in climbing some 
great mountain, finds steep emerging upon steep before him, 
when he thinks he has neared, or even gained the summit. 
New incidents arose, unexpected fields of action disclosed 
themselves, which baffled my calculations, and compelled me 
to abandon my intention of concluding my work within the 
present volume. 

I cannot regret this result, when I consider how much, 
light the materials at my disposal have enabled me to throw, 
in the present volume, not merely upon the Prince's character, 

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( vi ) 

but also upon the history both of Your Majesty's reign, and of 
Europe, during the years with which it deals. If the life of 
Your Majesty during these years is also depicted there with 
some fulness of detail, this could not be avoided, as in all 
matters, public as well as private, it was inseparably inter- 
woven with that of the Prince. The times were full of 
difficulty. But as difficulties arose, the Prince's powers 
seemed always to expand ; and it has been my duty to show, 
what inestimable assistance his knowledge and sagacity, ren- 
dered to Your Majesty in the fulfilment of those great duties 
of State, of which the world generally knows so little, but the 
grave anxieties of which this volume will enable it in some 
degree to appreciate. How much Your Majesty has lost, — 
and not Your Majesty only, but the nation also, — in losing 
such a counsellor in times of public trial or peril, will hence- 
forth be understood in a way it could not possibly have been, 
had I attempted to conclude the story of the Prince's Life 
within the present volume. 

Two years alone remain to be treated of that life, so brilliant, 
so crowded, so animated by noble energy, yet dominated by 
such ' sublime repression of himself.' In the humble hope 
that I may be enabled within a few months to complete the 
fecord of those years, 

I have the honour to remain, 
Madam, 
Your Majesty's devoted 

Subject and Servant, 

Theodore Mabtin. 

31 Onslow Squabb: 

lZth March, 1879. 



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CONTENTS 



THE FOURTH VOLUME. 



CHAPTER LXXIV. 

1857. 

PAOl 

Practical Philanthropy of the Prince — His Sympathy with the Working 
Classes —Desire to provide Amusements and proper places of Re- 
freshment for the People — His vide Information and Openness of 
Mind — His natural Courtesy — Views on Art Education, and on 
Amateur Artists 1 



CHAPTER LXXV. 

1857— continued. 

Meeting of Parliament— State of Allaire in India — War with Persia 
ended — National Defences — Financial Policy of Government — 
Government defeated in Debate on Chinese War — Parliament dis- 
solved—Result of Elections — Death of Duchess of Gloucester — 
Russia's Advances to France— Letter of the Prince to the Emperor 
of the French 17 



CHAPTER LXXVL 

1 857 — continued. 

Manchester Fine Arts Exhibition opened by the Prince — Delivers Ad- 
dresses at Manchester— Meeting of New Parliament — Vote of Dowry 
to Crown Princess— Uneasiness throughout Europe — Its Causes — The 
Danubian Principalities — Conciliatory Attitude of Russia— The Em- 
peror of the French proposes to visit the Queen at Osborne • . 34 



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viii CONTENTS. 



CHAPTER LXXVIL 

1857— continued. 

FAAB 

Visits of Grand Duke Constantino and Archduke Maximilian — Princess 
Charlotte of Belgium — The Prince presides at Conference on National 
Education— First Distribution of Victoria Crosses— Prince created 
Prince Consort— Queen's Visit to Manchester— Letter by M. de 
Tocqueville, with his impressions of the Prince Consort ... 66 



CHAPTER LXXVHI. 

1857 — continued. 

Outbreak of Indian Mutiny — Departure of Sir Colin Campbell for India 
as Commander-in-Chief— Correspondence of the Queen with Lord 
Palmerston as to Reinforcements for India — Letter from Lord Can- 
ning to the Queen— Letter by the Prince Consort to the Prince of 
Prussia — Marriage of the Princess Charlotte of Belgium— Reinforce- 
ments for India urged by the Queen 72 



CHAPTER LXXIX. . 

1857 — continued. 

Visit to the Queen at Osborne by the Emperor and Empress of the French 
— Memorandum by the Prince Consort of his Conversations with the 
Emperor 93 



CHAPTER LXXX. 

1857 — continued. 

Visit by the Queen and Prince Consort to Cherbourg— Prorogation of 
Parliament — Disastrous News from India— Letter by the Queen to 
Lord Palmerston— Friendliness of the Emperor, of the French . .115 



CHAPTER LXXXI. 

1857 — continued. 

Meeting at Stuttgart of Emperor of Russia and Emperor of the French — 
Illness of King of Prussia— Death of Duchess of Nemours— Financial 
Crisis in England— Measures for Transfer of Government of India to 
the Crown— Queen's Letter to Sir Colin Campbell . . . . 188 



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CONTENTS. * ix 

CHAPTER LXXXII. 

1858. 

FAQS 

Suppression of Indian Mutiny — Queen suggests to Lord Palmerston the 
conferring of Honours for Distinguished Services in India — Orsini's 
Attempt on life of Emperor of the French — Consequent angry Feel- 
ing in France against England— Marriage of the Princess Royal— 
Festivities — Her Departure for Germany 150 



CHAPTER T/XTrXTTT . 

1858— continued. 

Arrival of Princess Royal in Germany — Cordiality of her Reception there 
— Letters to her by the Prince Consort — Meeting of Parliament — In- 
dian Affairs— Attacks on Lord Canning — His Letter to Lord Granville 
— Imprudent Action of French Government in regard to the Orsini 
Affair — Despatch of Count Walewski — Addresses of French Colonels 
— Conspiracy Bill brought in — Motion of Mr. Milner Gibson — Govern- 
ment defeated — Resign— Ministry formed by Lord Derby— State of 
France 172 



CHAPTER LXXXIV. 

1858— continued. 

State of our Relations -with France — Expression of Regret by Count 
Walewski — Count de Persigny recalled and succeeded by Due de 
Malakoff as Ambassador at Court of St. James's— Government of India 
Bill — Withdrawn after Discussions in House of Commons — Govern- 
ment decide to proceed by way of Resolutions — Ministerial Budget 
— Trial and Acquittal of Dr. Bernard — Case of the Cagliari — 
Princess Stephanie of Hohenzollern, Queen of Portugal . . .196 

CHAPTER LXXXV. 

1858 — continued. 

Fall of Lucknow — Lord Canning's Oude Proclamation — Lord Ellen- 
borough's Despatch provokes general Censure— He resigns— Discus- 
sions upon it in Parliament — Ministry in danger — Change of Opinion, 
and consequent Withdrawal of Motion by Mr. Cardwell — Resolutions 
for New India Bill proceeded with, and Bill passes through Parlia- 
ment — Sudden Death of Duchess of Orleans — Visit by Prince Consort 
to Germany— Queen and Prince visit Lord and Lady Leigh at Stone- 
leigh Abbey— Open Aston Park at Birmingham — Brilliant Reception. 221 



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x CONTENTS. 

CHAPTER LXXXVI. 

1858 — continued. 

PA.Q1 

Italian Affairs— Count Cavour — His Meeting at Plombieres with the 
Emperor of the French — Difficulties as to the Danubian Principalities 
— How arranged — Emperor of the French urates the Queen and 
Prince to the Fetes at Cherbourg on completion of the Works there 
— Speech of Prince at Trinity House Dinner — Parliament prorogued 
—Visit of Queen and Prince to Cherbourg 248 

CHAPTER LXXXVH. 

1858 — continued. 

Great Increase of Naval Strength of France — Royal Visit to Germany — 
Proclamation by Queen to her Indian Subjects on assuming the 
Government of India 277 

CHAPTER LXXXVm. 

1858— continued. 

Royal Visit to Leeds — Opening of Town Hall — Arrival at Balmoral of 
the Honourable Frederick Bruce with Treaty of Tien-tsin — Reorgani- 
sation of Indian Army — Memorandum on the Subject for the Cabinet 
by the Queen — Apprehensions of War in Europe — Prince of Prussia 
named as Regent — Appoints Liberal Ministry — Letters to him by the 
Prince Consort 802 

CHAPTER LXXXIX. 
1858— oofrftmttrf. 

Adair of the Charles et Georges— Effect of Queen's Indian Proclamation 
— Opinions of Prince on Kingsley's and George Eliot's Novels— Spread 
of Apprehensions as to War in Italy— Christmas at Windsor Castle . 331 

CHAPTER XO. 

1859. 

Address of French Emperor to the Austrian Ambassador on 1st of Jan. 
1869— Alarm caused by it— Address of King of Sardinia to his 
Chambers — Irritation of Austria — Apprehensions in Germany of an 
Attack on the Rhine Provinces — Letters by Prince Consort to King 
Leopold on State of Europe — The Princess Royal delivered of a Son 
at Berlin— Letter by the Queen to the Emperor of the French — His 
Reply 347 



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CONTENTS. xi 

CHAPTER XOL 

1859 — continued. 

PAOH 

Parliamentary Reform — Opening of Parliament — Debate on the Address 
— Effect of Secret Arrangement between France and Sardinia be- 
comes apparent— Letter of Prince Regent of Prussia to the Prince 
Consort— The Prince's Reply— Prince Consort founds Military 
Library at Aldershot— The Victoria Soldiers' Libraries . . . 373 

CHAPTER XOIL 

1859— continued. 

Hesitation of Emperor of the French as to War in Italy— Lord Cow- 
ley's Mission to Vienna— Its Result— Reform Bill brought in— 
Russia proposes a Congress on the Affairs of Italy— Memorandum 
by Prince Consort on the Position of the Italian Question — Debate 
on Reform Bill — Ministry defeated — Dissolution of Parliament- 
Letter by Prince Consort to King Leopold 391 

CHAPTER XCm. 

1859 — continued. 

Count Cavour summoned to Paris by Emperor of the French — Report 
of Interviews between Emperor and Lord Cowley — Cavour assents to 
a Congress — Failure of Negotiations — Austria sends Summons to 
Sardinia to disarm — Effect produced, most injurious to Austria — 
Further ineffectual Efforts by England for Peace— Letters by the 
Prince Consort on the State of Affairs— War declared in Italy— Mani- 
festoes by Emperor of the French— Alarm in Germany and in Eng- 
land — Establishment of Volunteer Forces — Memorandum by the 
Prince as to Organisation of Volunteer Forces adopted by the Cabinet 
— Letter by the Queen to Lord Canning— Order of Star of India 
suggested 419 

CHAPTER XCIV. 

1859 — continued. 

The Liberal Party settle their Differences and combine their Action — 
Result of Elections — Inaction of Austria gives time for French to 
concentrate their Forces in support of Sardinia — General Alarm 
throughout Europe— France expresses Anxiety to localise the War 
—Illness of Duchess of Kent — Princess Royal visits England — 
Ministers defeated on Motion of no Confidence — Lord Granville sent 
for by the Queen to form Administration — Fails— Lord Palmerston 



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xii CONTENTS. j 

1 

PAGE 

sent for— Forms a strong Ministry— French Victories in Lombardy 
— Armistice— Emperors meet at Villafranca — Concert Preliminaries 
of Peace — These reluctantly assented to by Sardinia — Cavour re- 
signs—English Feeling about Result of the War— France desires a 
Congress to amend the Arrangements come to at Villafranca . 442 

CHAPTER XOV. 

1859— continued. 

Increased Taxation in England caused by Apprehensions of European 
Disturbance— Conversations of Lord Cowley with Emperor of the 
French — Defects of Peace of Villafranca — Cabinet objects to a Con- 
gress as premature, until Preliminaries of Peace are dealt with by 
the Treaty of Zurich — Debate on the Subject in House of Commons 
— Royal Visit to Channel Islands — At Balmoral — Italian Affairs — 
Prorogation of Parliament — English Neutrality — Annexation of Savoy 
hinted at by France— Letter by the Prince Consort as to Prussian 
Policy 469 

CHAPTER XCVI. 

1859 — continued. 

Prince Consort's Inaugural Address to British Association at Aberdeen — 
Visit of Members of Association to Balmoral — Court leaves Balmoral 
— Queen opens Glasgow Waterworks — Visit to Penrhyn Castle — 
Prince's Illness — Proposed Congress on Italian Affairs— Letter by 
Queen to Lord John Russell as to proposed Congress — Prince Napo- 
leon's Italian Project — Letters by the Prince Consort to the Crown 
Princess 492 



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ILLUSTRATION. 

Pobtraits op thb Pbdtcb Consobt AND ths Queen (1860) . To/ace Title, 



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THE LIFE 



OF HIS ROYAL HIGHNESS 



THE PRINCE CONSORT. 



CHAPTER LXXIV. 

4 1 am long persuaded, 9 says Milton, in his Letter on Educa- 
tion^ * that to say or do aught worth memory or imitation, 
no purpose should sooner move us than simply the love of 
God and of mankind. 9 In this spirit the Prince Consort 
lived and acted. A rule good for all men he felt was espe- 
cially incumbent on him, placed as he was in a position where 
his influence and example, whether for good or evil, must of 
necessity be greater than those of ordinary men. In a letter 
written in December 1847 we find him saying, in reference 
to having had his conduct in certain matters misunderstood : 
' I must console myself with the consciousness that from my 
heart I mean well towards all men, have never done them 
aught but good, and take my stand on truth and reason, 1 

1 In a letter (17th January, 1S62) to the late Sir Arthur Helps from the 
late Sir Charles Phipps, whose official position as Privy Purse bi ought him 
into contact with the Prince for many hours daily, he writes : ' The principle 
of right was so firmly and immovably rooted in the Prince, and its influence 
was so ever present in his every thought, that I am quite sure he never spoke 
or answered a question without having made instantaneous reference in his 
thoughts to this principle. His every word, his every act was bat a portion 
of one great resolution to do what was right, and to endeavour to do it with 
the greatest possible kindness and tenderness to others. To hear of a good 

VOL* IV. B 



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2 PRACTICAL PHILANTHROPY 1857 

the worship of which becomes daily more and more a matter 
of conscience with me.' But his was no cold worship of truth 
and reason in the abstract. Their value for him lay in their 
application to human beings, to the intricacies and per- 
plexities of human life, and to the social wants and problems 
of the times in which we live. 

Such being his principle of life, no question was indifferent 
to him, whether great or small, in which the happiness or 
well-being of his fellow-men was involved. He would turn 
aside at any time from the discussion of the most intricate 
question of European policy to deal with a cape of personal 
hardship, or with any scheme for abolishing an abuse or 
bettering the condition of any section of Her Majesty's 
subjects. The same faculty of looking not only all round a 
subject, but also far ahead into remote consequences, which 
distinguished his political speculations, was applied to every 
subject to which his attention was directed. Considerations 
which had escaped the attention even of those whose business 
it was to deal with the matters which they brought under his 
notice, or who had made a special study of the subject on 
which they sought his opinion, presented themselves as if by 
intuition to his mind. And always, aa we learn from those 
whose daily intercourse with him furnished them with the 
best means of observation, the fairness, the thoughtfulness 
for others, which pervaded all his suggestions, where the 
interests either of single individuals or of classes were in- 
volved, were peculiarly conspicuous. 

At the same time, his mind, which has been by some 
called un-English, had at least the peculiarly English quality 
of being practical. Whether a reform was well-timed, and 
how it would work, was always his prominent thought, and in 
the means to be adopted for effecting it, he was careful to keep 

action in anybody, from a young child np to a great statesman, was a positive 
enjoyment to him — a joy which was visibly seen in his countenance.' 



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1857 OF THE PRINCE. 3 

in view English ways and even prejudices of thinking. His 
gifts in this respect were very early found out by those who 
met him in deliberation, and they had good reason to acknow- 
ledge that his timely forethought in council had smoothed the 
way where difficulties unforeseen and unprovided for might 
otherwise have defeated the most excellent intentions. 

Thus it was that the things ' worth memory and imita- 
tion' which were done by the Prince were numerous and 
widely spread, and have left an inheritance of good in many 
quarters, especially in those where there is little to cheer the 
toil of a pinched and struggling life. As one among many 
instances may be cited the case of the ballast-heavers of the 
Port of London. It cannot be presented more truthfully than 
in their own words, in a Memorial presented to the Queen 
in June 1863, in which they acknowledged that to the Prince 
4 we owed eight years' contented life in our hard labour, 
after a long time of misery from which he relieved us.' 

'Before he came to our rescue, we could only get work 
through a body of riverside publicans and middlemen, who made 
us drink before they would give us a job, made us drink while 
at it, and kept us waiting for our wages and drinking after we had 
done onr work, so that we could only take half our wages home 
to our families, and that half often reached them, too, through 
a drunkard's hands. The consequence was that we were in a 
pitiable state ; this track-drinking system was ruining us, body 
and soul, and our families too. 

* Your Majesty, we tried hard to get out of this accursed 
system ; we appealed to men of all classes, and opened an office 
ourselves ; but we got no real help till we sent an appeal to your 
late Royal Consort on his election to the Mastership of the 
Trinity House. He at once listened to us. Your Majesty, he 
loved the wife of his own bosom, and he loved the ehildren of 
his love ; he could put himself down from the throne he shared 
to the wretched home of us poor men, and could feel what we 
and our wives and children were suffering from the terrible truck- 
drinking system that had dragged us into the mire. He inquired 

b2 



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4 MEMORIAL OF BALLAST-HEAVERS. 1857 

himself into the evils that oppressed 11s ; he resolved that, if he 
could release 11s from our bonds, he would ; he saw the President 
of the Board of Trade (the Bight Hon. E. Cardwell) about us, 
and with his counsel a clause was put into the Merchant Shipping 
Act, 1853, which placed us under the control of the Corporation 
of the Trinity House. 

' At once our wrongs were redressed, and the system that had 
ruined us swept away. The good Prince and the Brethren 
whom he led framed rules for our employment, which secured 
us a fair wage for our very hard toil ; they let us take it home 
to our families unclipt ; they gave us a room to wait in for our 
work, and supplied it with papers and books ; they encouraged 
us to form a Sick Benefit Society, and in every way strove to 
promote our welfare. Tonr Majesty may well imagine what 
a change this was to us; from the publicans and grasping 
middlemen seeking our money at the cost of our lives, to Albert 
the Good and his generous Brethren, desiring only our good ! 
At one dead lift they raised us from the drunkard's life, and the 
drunkard's fate, to the comfort and respectability of the fairly 
paid, hard-toiling English working man/ 

The Memorialists go on to inform the Queen, that they 
* celebrate their deliverance by an annual treat 9 on Her 
Majesty's birthday, and that they ' then think with special 
gratitude of their deliverer.' We should like, they add, to 
' have a representation of him in the room that he and the 
Brethren gave us ; we should like to see his kind and earnest 
face looking on us as we daily partake of the boon he has se- 
cured us;' and they ask for a framed engraving of the Prince, 
' as a remembrance of our benefactor, and as a reminder that 
we, in our humble way, should strive to be, as husbands, 
fathers, and men, what he was/ The request was at once 
granted, and the gift made more precious by the words that 
accompanied it, which told that of all the tokens of sympathy 
submitted to the Queen in her grief, ' no one was more in 
harmony with her feelings than the simple and unpretending 
tribute from these honest hard-working men. 9 



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1857 SYMPATHY WITH WORKING-CLASSES. $ 

Himself the most bard- working of men, it was to the state 
of those who do the bulk of the hard and ungenial work of 
the world under conditions little favourable to their welfare, 
spiritual or bodily, that the thoughts of the Prince were 
most constantly directed. He early saw that the rapid 
overgrowth of our great cities, where the want of home 
comforts and of wholesome recreation for the labouring 
classes was rapidly developing vice, disease, and discontent 
to an alarming extent, was a problem which, if not effectively 
dealt with, must in the end become fatal to the habits and 
physical development of the people, and even dangerous to 
the State. The magnitude of the difficulties which sur- 
rounded this subject was not with him, as it is with many, a 
reason for doing nothing. He was among the first to show 
what could be effected in the way of improving the dwellings 
of the working-classes, not only by the cottages built 
upon the Eoyal estates at Osborne and Balmoral, but by 
model lodging-houses erected in the metropolis itself. It 
was his conviction that, under a proper system, these would 
pay, and indeed that they must be made to pay, otherwise 
no permanent improvement could be established anywhere, 
and still less could any wide measure of progressive amelio- 
ration be hoped for. On mere philanthropy the Prince was 
not disposed to lean ; but he believed that a mighty change 
would be initiated, if men of kind hearts and sound business 
heads could be persuaded to invest their capital in providing 
on reasonable terms homes for the sons of labour, in which 
the decencies, at least, and the main comforts of domestic 
life might be within their reach. His views on this subject, 
regarded at first as somewhat Utopian, have since become 
accepted truisms. Many of the great employers of labour 
throughout the country have proved to their own satisfaction 
the Prince's favourite axiom, that the capital sunk in good 
houses for those who work for them would prove an excellent 

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6 POPULAR AMUSEMENTS. 1857 

investment in itself, while at the same time it secured them 
better workmen and better work. And the success which has 
attended the building of houses for the working-classes in 
London and other large cities gives a reasonable hope that 
the evils of overcrowding and of the want of sanitary 
arrangements are being in some degree arrested, and may 
ultimately be reduced to manageable proportions. 

Another subject of the greatest interest to the Prince was 
the every-day amusements of the people. That in this 
country these are too often of a debasing kind is obviously 
less the fault of the people themselves than of the fact that 
they are driven to seek in the public-house and the tavern 
the light, the warmth, the companionship, and the recreation 
which are not readily to be found elsewhere. How to enable 
the labourer to dispose of his leisure pleasantly and rationally 
is a problem of which even now people generally are little 
more than beginning to seek the solution. Mechanics' In- 
stitutes, reading-rooms, and public libraries go but a small 
way to meet the exigencies of the case, and these indeed are 
only possible in the great centres of population. Something 
of a much simpler kind the Prince felt to be required ; some 
place where the cheerfulness of the public-house could be 
provided without its drawbacks. The idea has recently been 
developed into those Working-Men's Clubs and Coffee Palaces 
which have been established in many quarters with excellent 
effect. But so far back as 1857 the idea had been started, 
and advocated by several philanthropically-minded men. 
Among others, Mr. John M. Clabon had advocated the for- 
mation of houses of this description in a series of pamphlets, 
calling for ' more sympathy between rich and poor.' One 
of these, entitled Leisure-Houses for the Labourer, had been 
brought to the Prince's notice, and he granted an interview 
for the purpose of discussing the subject with the author, 
who, fully aware of the interest all topics of the kind had for 

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1857 HOW TO BE PROVIDED. 7 

the Prince, was at the same time most anxious to have the 
advantage of that peculiarly practical judgment, of which the 
public had already had signal experience in matters of a 
kindred description. A graphic record of this interview has 
been preserved in a letter written by Mr. Clabon the same 
evening (23rd November, 1856), from which we are enabled 
to give the following extracts. The meeting took place at 
Windsor Gastle in the room of Colonel, afterwards General, 
Grey, the Prince's secretary : — 

• We found Colonel Grey alone — a little room, business-like, 
with a large office-table and directories, and so on — everything 
very comfortable and handsome. Colonel Grey sent to let the 
Prince know we were there. After a few sentences of general 
conversation with Lord Torrington, Colonel Grey got out my 
pamphlet and we began to talk about it. Presently the Prince 
was announced. I was introduced ; he made his way past me 
and Colonel Grey, shook hands with Lord Torrington, and esta- 
blished himself with his back to the fire and hands behind him 
in true English fashion, we three standing before him. 

' I opened the talk by saying that I felt it a great honour to 
be permitted to address his Royal Highness on the subject of my 
pamphlet ; that, admitting that Mechanics' Institutes did much 
good, it was to the middle classes, and that I thought the two 
great mistakes which had been made were that we thought too 
much of educating the adult poor, whereas we should begin with 
amusement, and, having tempted them by that, introduce in- 
struction by classes, lectures, and so on very gradually, and that 
the poor were not sufficiently consulted, were kept too much at 
a distance. The Prince said he had read my pamphlet, that it 
was important to consider the rules of political economy, that any 
departure from them would tend towards failure, that these 
rules required the commercial principle to be introduced, that the 
institution must be self-supporting, and that in fact people of 
good character must be persuaded to open such a home as I had 
described, with a licence from the magistrates, and to conduct it 
so as to make it remunerative. I thanked him for the suggestion, 
and said that I appreciated its value. 

' The Prince then said it should be a reformed public-house. 



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8 INTERVIEW WITH PRINCE. 1857 

He quite agreed that there should be smoking, but did not agree 
that it need be in a separate room. He said, that it was impor- 
tant that the ivife and family should come there, as well as the 
labourer himself. The women of England were excellent wives 
and mothers. Now they had to do their best to keep their 
husbands from the public-house ; with such an institution they 
might encourage them to go there and go with them. As to the 
mingling of class with class, he said that he doubted whether it 
could be carried out. The lower classes would always feel a 
restraint in the presence of the higher classes. 

' I said, that in the institution which I hoped to found on 
Surbiton Hill near my place of residence, I meant to call the 
poor together in the first instance and consult them as to the 
whole thing, and do all I could to obtain their confidence — that 
I had had some experience in mixing with the poor, and thought 
I could succeed in obtaining their confidence — that I did not 
propose a general mixing of class with class — but that I and two 
or three others of the same views should look in now and then 
in the evening and talk to the people on equal terms, asking 
John about his foot and Mary about her child and so on — that if 
I had succeeded in getting their confidence my presence for a 
short time now and then would not abash them. 

* ' The Prince then asked what I would do on Sunday. I said 
I had not considered that part of the question. He said, it 
must be open. I said, yes, it should be open, no game being 
carried on, and an attempt made to improve the day in some 
way, but without giving the institution the character of a chapel. 
I mentioned the reading-room on Surbiton Hill, and that the 
curate preached there once a week, and the poor kept away from 
it and called it a chapel. Lord Torrington said something on 
the Sunday question, advocating rational amusement on that day. 
The Prince said a few words, but not indicating directly his 
approval of what Lord Torrington had said. I then said, that I 
did not wish any clergyman to take a lead in the management, 
that, if he took any part, it must be only as an individual, and 
that the Dissenting minister should equally be admissible. 
There was to be no distinction of creed, every one was to be 
free to come. The Prince agreed. 

' Returning to the commercial question, the Prince said that 
as the building of lodging-houses for the labourer had led to the 



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1857 INTERVIEW WITH PRINCE. g 

reform of other lodging-houses, so the establishment of leisure- 
houses might lead to the reform of the public-houses. Lord 
Torrington said it would be a sort of club-house for the poor. 
The Prince said that the first leisure-house had better not be in 
too public a place, that the experiment had better be made quietly 
and the public be made acquainted with the results according to 
the success realised. The site must be in the middle of the cot- 
tages, the poor man would not go far to it. I said that was one 
of my principles. There was a momentary break, and I asked 
whether his Royal Highness had observed that I proposed to 
have an occasional dance. He had. I said that our labouring 
population were far behind those of other countries in polish, 
and I thought an attempt might be made to introduce dancing. 
He agreed, but doubted whether they would enjoy it or enter 
upon it with spirit, unless they had something to drink. I said 
let them have tea, coffee, and lemonade. He said that in Scot- 
land they were fond of dancing, but wanted to have whisky — 
that at Osborne there was an entertainment to all persons em- 
ployed there and the household once a year, generally on his, the 
Prince's birthday — that last year one or two had too much, and 
that this year the beer given was not therefore so strong, and 
there was dissatisfaction ; they did not seem to enter into the 
dancing with spirit. Bat he agreed, that spirituous liquors must 
be excluded. 

* Lord Torrington asked what his Royal Highness thought of 
the name. He considered a little, and said he thought it was a 
good one. I said I had been thinking of a name all the vaca- 
tion, that it would not do to give a name indicative of mere 
amusement, when it was desired to engraft instruction. Colonel 
Grey just then said something to Lord Torrington, and I caught 
the word pleasure (Lord Torrington afterwards told me he was 
saying it sotio voce as a joke). And I said no, pleasure-house 
won't do, it would give the idea of nothing but pleasure, and 
might be taken to include pleasure of a debasing kind. There 
was another break of a moment, and I said that as my views 
were at present founded on theory to some extent, the first insti- 
tution must be an experiment — that we could not hope to attain 
perfection at once — and that on many points improvements 
would be made as the matter progressed. The Prince agreed. 
I then (after about from fifteen to twenty minutes' conversation) 



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io PRINCE'S WIDE INFORMATION. 1857 

saw it was time to go, and I begged permission of the Prince to 
submit to him a statement of progress made and results, where- 
npon he said that he should be most happy to receive them. He 
shook hands again with Lord Torrington, and we made our 
exit. 

* The Prince's English is not perfect ; he speaks with a de- 
cidedly foreign accent, and once or twice he hesitated for a word. 
Lord Torrington said this was unusual, that he was generally 
very fluent, and that he was a little nervous at seeing a stranger, 
as he generally is. I felt nervous at first, but the Prince's de- 
meanour on his first entry put me at once at my ease.' 

The writer of this letter left the room with the conviction 
that the Prince knew more about his own pet hobby, and 
about the people at whose good he was aiming, than he did 
himself. This was by no means an exceptional case. The 
Prince trifled with no topic. It was either left untouched, or 
thoroughly studied. A fact or a principle once grasped seems 
to have been stored up, so as always to have been within 
easy reach, and this habit of his mind, applied to the un- 
usually wide range of subjects which engaged his attention, 
not only made his conversation delightful and instructive to 
his friends, but created a profound impression upon those 
with whom he was brought into casual contact. ' Whether 
he spoke to a painter,' Sir Charles Phipps writes in the 
letter already quoted, 4 a sculptor, an architect, a man of 
science, or an ordinary tradesman, they would each think 
that the speciality of the Prince's mind was his own par- 
ticular pursuit. I remember a great glass manufacturer 
coming to see him at the Palace with regard to some 
chandeliers ; and, after a conversation of half an hour, when 
the Prince left the room, the man said, " That is wonderful ; 
he knows more about glass than I do 1 " And he added, I 
well remember, for the speech went to my heart, " That is a 
man one cannot like, one must love him." And with all this 
knowledge of detail,' Sir Charles Phipps adds, ' the great 



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1857 HIS OPENNESS OF MIND. II 

characteristic of his mind was that it had nothiDg little in 
it, for all these minute points were only parts of a great 
whole which he kept constantly in view.' 

It was characteristic of a mind about which there was 
nothing little, that no one ever listened more patiently than 
the Prince to the opinions of other men, or conducted a dis- 
cussion with greater fairness or with a keener enjoyment of 
a frank statement of the speaker's views, even when they dif- 
fered from his own. In questions of politics, science, litera- 
ture, or art, he set the example of the fair give-and-take of 
genial discussion — i gladly would he learn, and gladly teach ' 
— ready to be convinced, but yielding only upon conviction. 
Of him might be said what Dr. Johnson says of Pope : 
4 He consulted his friends and listened with great willingness 
to criticism, and, what was of more importance, he consulted 
himself, and let nothing pass against his own judgment/ 

This quality of mind was necessarily put to severe proof 
in the duties which devolved upon the Prince as the head of 
a great household, to whom constant appeals had to be made 
on every kind of subject. Endowed as he was with a rare power 
of abstraction, he never resented the interruptions of which 
most men would be impatient. He might be studying some 
proposed Government measure, some intricate report, some 
despatch bearing intelligence of momentous import, or 
writing, it may be, one of those closely reasoned Memo- 
randums which we have so often had occasion to cite. But 
if any of the leading officers of his household entered his 
room on business, he would look up with a smile, insist on 
his remaining, go fully into the business of the moment, 
perhaps glance off into the discussion of some topic of the 
day, and, dismissing him with a pleasant remark, resume at 
once his previous occupation as if it had never been inter- 
rupted. In his household, therefore, to cite the words of 
the late Sir Thomas Biddulph, then Master of the Queen's 



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12 THE PRINCE'S COURTESY. 1857 

Household, ' his kindly spirit and courteous bearing, united to 
the exercise of strong practical sense on every detail, created 
an universal feeling of respect and affection, and of anxiety 
to carry out his wishes, from the conviction that what he 
directed was generally right ; and, although his view of the 
case might not be the same as yours, still he listened so 
patiently to your objections, and so clearly explained his 
reasons for disagreeing, that it was impossible, even if you 
were not quite convinced, not to wish to carry into effect 
what was put before you so forcibly and yet so pleasantly/ * 

Some other traits noted by Sir Charles Phipps in his 
letter already quoted are interesting and significant. Re- 
ferring to the Prince's watchfulness over the welfare of the 
lower order3, he says : ' It was almost a parental care. His 
manner was perfect with them, for though naturally shy, he 
had not a particle of pride in him — how much misunder- 
stood ! He maintained his position, as he did everything 
else, as a duty, but not from any pride in bis high station ; 
quite the contrary, nobody knew its disadvantages better. 
If there was honesty and some intellect in him, he would 
quite as willingly and as openly talk with a tradesman or a 
labourer as with a man of the highest rank, and I have 
known him spend his valuable time, overloaded with im- 
portant objects/ in looking over the copybooks of his Windsor 
labourers, and in watching and approving their small 
progress.' 

What the Prince was when canvassing a topic with the 
humblest, in the absence of anything like constraint or dog- 

2 Since this chapter has been in print, Sir Thomas Biddulph, from whom 
the writer learned many characteristic traits of the Prince Consort, has died 
(28th Sept. 1878). He was the last survivor of the three very able men, — Sir 
Charles Phipps and General Charles Grey being the other two, — who had 
been intimately associated with the Prince from their position as leading 
members of Her Majesty's Household, and who continued to serve their Royal 
mistress with generous devotion, until one by one they followed • beyond the 
shadow of our night' the Prince, whom they loved so well. 



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1857 HIS VIEWS ON ART EDUCATION. 13 

matism, or an air of condescension, such he was in his inter- 
course with men the most eminent in scholarship or science. 
4 1 shall never forget,' Dr. Acland writes to the Queen (2nd 
March, 1875), * his kindness,' in discussing the importance of 
developing scientific studies at Oxford, 'the first time I 
conversed with him alone in good Sir Charles Phipps's room. 
But then indeed I did not learn the width and force and 
gentleness of his thoughts as several years after, when alone 
with him for nearly two hours on board the Victoria and 
Albert on the way to Plymouth in 1860. I have often had 
to 6ay, that of all the conversations ever vouchsafed me with 
persons of intellectual culture, that one concerning education, 
religious and scientific thought, gave me the highest idea of 
the outpouring of wide and noble sympathy combined with 
opportunity and high training.' 

This blended wisdom of the heart and head it was which 
guided all the Prince's efforts for the instruction and the 
good of the people. In what he did, for example, to call 
their attention to Art as a means of education, his great 
endeavour was to engage their interest in it, not merely for 
purposes of amusement, but in its relations to tjie history of 
the nations and the periods where its best illustrations were 
to be found, and to the handicrafts and manufactures which 
it had been and might be employed to elevate and improve. 
To restore the pride of the workman in the product of his 
hands, and to strip toil of half its irksomeness by emanci- 
pating it from the monotony of merely mechanical work, was 
one of his cherished aims. Where the nature of the employ* 
ment precluded the exercise of individual skill or taste, he 
would at least have had every workman understand the 
principle and appreciate the subtle ingenuity of the machines 
amid which his life was spent, so that he might find in the 
' cold metallic motion ' of their iron wheels something more 
than the ceaseless throb or drone of a lifeless unsympathetic 



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14 PRINCES PLAN FOR A NATIONAL GALLERY, 1857 

force of which he seemed to be the slave. The intelligence 
quickened in one direction might be trusted to seek further 
knowledge elsewhere ; at any rate, it was well to place the 
means of doing so within easy reach, and in the most effective 
shape. Accordingly, all the Prince's schemes for Museums of 
Science and Art were devised with the view of putting the work- 
ing-classes in as favourable a position as the rich for seeing for 
themselves what science and art had achieved, and the steps 
by which they had advanced to their present state. At the 
root of all his efforts in this direction the idea lay which 
has been finely expressed by Dr. Johnson : * Whatever with- 
draws us from the power of our senses, — whatever makes the 
past, the distant, or the future predominate over the present, 
advances us in the scale of human beings. 9 

That the arrangement of Museums of Art as well as of 
Science should be such as to afford the means of metho- 
dical study was a point on which the Prince justly laid the 
greatest stress. He applied this principle to the national 
art collections with results for which the students of art 
must always be grateful. In 1853 he caused his private 
secretary to address a letter to Colonel Mure, the Chairman 
of the National Gallery Committee, enclosing a plan for a 
national collection of paintings, which should be illustrative 
of the history of the art, to be ' arranged so as to afford the 
best means of instruction and education in the art to those 
who wish to study it scientifically in its history and progress.* 
This suggestion was first followed in the arrangement of the 
pictures of the Italian school by Sir Charles Eastlake, and of 
those of the German and other schools by Mr. Wornum, and 
it has since been adopted as the guiding principle in the 
acquisition and arrangement of pictures for the National Gal- 
lery. So also in the case of the pictures at Hampton Court ; 
it was under the direction of the Prince that the Crown 
Surveyor of Pictures attached to every picture a legible 



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1857 VIEWS ON AMATEUR ART. 15 

label, with the name and dates of the birth and death of 
the painter. What the Prince did in the way of simplifying 
the study of art in our public galleries has been acknow- 
ledged by Mr. George Scharf, in his Essay on the Royal 
Picture-Galleries : ' ' All the pictures,' says this most com- 
petent authority, ' are now in the course of a better system 
of arrangement. These changes are the result of a thoroughly 
matured scheme laid down by the late Prince Consort, and it 
may indeed be said that all the good now performed in 
respect to our national collections of art is but a realisation 
of his wise and beneficent intentions. 9 

We are learning, — slowly, it is true, — to profit by these 
changes in a greater appreciation of what goes to produce a 
picture of abiding interest and charm. Criticism is be- 
coming more intelligent, and people are less at the mercy 
of the caprices of individual liking, or the fantastic theories 
of the votaries of new schools. Of the modesty which comes 
with knowledge, and which in all matters of art it is the 
duty of lookers-on especially to cultivate, the Prince was an 
instructive example. He laid down for himself a rule which 
may be pondered with advantage by that growing class of 
amateurs who are vain of display, and who force comparison 
of their sketchy and imperfect efforts with that thorough 
workmanship, the product of genius matured by earnest study, 
which alone deserves to be regarded as art. What that rule 
was, we gather from some words of his to Lady Bloomfield, one 
day at dinner at Windsor Castle (20th December, 1860). * I 
consider/ he said, 4 that persons in our position of life can never 
be distinguished artists. It takes the study of a whole life to 
become that, and we have too many other duties to perform 
to give the time necessary to any one particular branch of 
art. Our business is not so much to create, as to learn to 
appreciate and understand the works of others, and we can 
* Old London, 1867, p. 376. 

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16 PRINCE'S VIEWS ON AMATEUR ART. 1857 

never do this till we have realised the difficulties to be over- 
come. Acting on this principle myself, I have always tried 
to learn the rudiments of art as much as possible. For 
instance, I learnt oil-painting, water-colours, etching, litho- 
graphy, &c. &c., and in music I learnt thorough bass, the 
pianoforte, organ, and singing, — not, of course, with a view 
of doing anything worth looking at or hearing, but simply 
to enable me to judge and appreciate the works of others.' 4 

But we must leave these general considerations to resume 
the story of the Prince's life, as interwoven with that of the 
country in whose progress and welfare he took an ever- 
wakeful interest. 

4 Extract from a letter (25th January, 1878) from Lady Bloomfield to the 
Dowager Marchioness of Ely. 



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17 



CHAPTER LXXV. 

Parliament was opened by- Commission on the 3rd of Feb- 
ruary. The Ministry were strong in the popularity naturally 
due to having brought the war to what was believed to be 
an honourable and successful close. The nation had reason 
to be satisfied with the way the difficulties and disasters had 
been met and conquered, which for a time had seemed to 
shake the faith of other countries in the warlike genius and 
resources of England. Trade and commerce were reviving, 
so that the Queen, in her Speech, was able to say with truth 
that, notwithstanding the great sacrifices attendant upon 
the war, * the resources of the country remained unimpaired, 
and its productive industry unchecked in its course of pro- 
gressive development.' Political agitation was also in abey- 
ance ; but it was obvious, even if strong indications had not 
been given in the press and elsewhere, that a material reduc- 
tion in taxation would be the subject on which the Ministry 
would be severely pressed by every section of the Opposition. 
Under the subsisting law the Income Tax had been fixed at 
sixteenpence in the pound for the current year, and at five- 
pence for each of the two following years. However neces- 
sary it might be for the efficient defence of the country that 
no considerable redaction in the Army and Navy Estimates 
should be suddenly made, still it was only by such reductions 
that the Ministry could bring down the figures of their 
Budget to a point likely to satisfy the country. Accordingly, 
the Cabinet had resolved in the course of January on reducing 

VOL. IV. 

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18 AFFAIRS IN PERSIA AND INDIA. 1857 

both the naval and military forces greatly below the level to 
which they had been raised daring the Crimean War. 

It was no doubt true that they had at the moment two 
wars upon their hands, but for these the ordinary resources 
of our forces were amply sufficient. One of these was with 
Persia, which had set up a claim to sovereignty over the 
territory and city of Herat and the suzerainty of Afghanistan, 
and, in defiance of engagements which she had undertaken to 
England in 1853, had advanced upon and taken possession 
of the city of Herat. The Shah had, however, already been 
made to feel the force of the adversary whom he had thus 
provoked, and he was soon afterwards glad to conclude a 
treaty with England (4th March, 1857), by which he re- 
nounced his pretensions, and bound himself to refer any 
future differences between Persia and the Affghan States to 
the friendly offices of the English Government. The other 
war, which was with China, was destined to assume a more 
serious aspect, and to affect the position of parties at home 
by leading to a dissolution of Parliament soon after it had 
met. 

The Government would unquestionably have paused before 
proposing any reduction in the national forces, could they 
have foreseen how soon these were to be subjected to a serious 
strain by the Indian Mutiny, of which the first threatening 
symptoms were even then beginning to appear, 1 and which 
actually broke out at Berhampore on the 25th of February 

1 On the 23rd of January, 1857, Major-General Hearsay had informed the 
Indian Government that at Dumdum, near Calcutta, an uneasy feeling existed 
among the Sepoys, arising from a belief which had taken hold of them, that the 
grease used in the preparation of their cartridges was composed of a mixture 
of the fat of cows and pigs — to touch which with their mouths involved the 
loss of their caste. The existence of this belief among other regiments was soon 
afterwards ascertained, and led to the conclusion, that it had been fomented 
by intriguers from without, who skilfully worked on the minds of the Sepoys 
by suggesting a deliberate purpose of the English Government to make them 
lose their caste and to become Christians. 



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\ 



1857 NATIONAL DEFENCES. 19 

in this year. But they had at the time no occasion to anti- 
cipate any danger from this quarter. On the contrary, so 
settled to all appearance was India, that, only a year before, 
the late Governor-General (Lord Dalhousie), on laying down 
his office, had written to the Queen (29th February, 1856) 
that ' although no prudent man will ever venture to predict 
the certainty of continued peace in India, Lord Dalhousie is 
able to declare, without reservation, that he knows of no 
quarter in which it is probable that trouble will arise.' The 
despatches of his successor, Lord Canning, had confirmed 
this opinion ; and India, as demanding an extra supply of 
British troops, did not therefore enter into the calculations of 
the Cabinet in maturing their financial measures for the 
coming Parliament. 

It was not, however, without misgivings that the Queen 
and Prince learned that the costly fighting power, which had 
been built up with so much difficulty and at so much expense 
during the last two years, was to be cut down to proportions 
which would leave no margin to meet any sudden emergency. 
There were not wanting symptoms of the disquietude in 
Europe itself, which actually developed into the Italian War 
of 1859, and threatened disturbances in other quarters. 
Moreover, the security of a great empire like England, with 
its vast and coveted colonial possessions, they felt, was too 
important to be placed in peril by any undue parsimony in 
maintaining adequate means of resistance to encroachment 
or attack. Neither was the maximum of influence and 
power, to which England aspires, to be maintained upon a 
scale of expenditure, in which account was not taken of the 
growing resources of other nations, all of whom would be on 
the alert to profit by our weakness. But the cry against 
large warlike establishments has always been so popular in 
England, and statesmen of all parties have uniformly shown 
so decided a disposition to rely on the energies of her people 

c2 

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20 FINANCIAL POUCY 1857 

to find, when called on, the men and means to carry on a war, 
rather than to follow the rule of maintaining large permanent 
establishments, that Lord Palmerston and his Cabinet could 
not hope to carry the country with them except by large con- 
cessions in this direction. Besides, the nation had borne so 
uncomplainingly the heavily-increased taxation of the years 
of war — as experience has proved that it always will bear 
whatever a Government in which it trusts may demand to 
enable it to uphold the honour and the interests of the 
empire — that nothing short of demonstrable necessity would 
have justified the Ministry in refusing to stretch relief from 
taxation to the utmost limits of prudence. 9 Under the 
arrangements proposed, the Queen wrote (10th February) to 
King Leopold, * We think we shall be able to reduce the 
Income Tax, and yet maintain an efficient navy and the 
organisation of the army, which is even more important than 
the number of men.' 

The wisdom of this resolution, as the means of defeating 

* In closing the debate on the Address, Lord Palmerstou stated the true 
policy of this country with regard to its naval and military establishments 
with great force. ' Nobody/ he said, ' dreams of England having a great standing 
army on the scale of the great nations of the Continent. But our army must 
be more than a domestic police. We have colonies to strengthen, possessions 
to maintain ; and you must bear in mind that peace, however long it may 
continue, is not merely dependent on ourselves, but on the conduct of other 
Powers, and you must look forward to having a force sufficient at least to pro- 
tect you in the outset Jrom insult or attack. Depend upon it, for a country great 
and rich to leave itself without the means of defence is not a method to preserve 
peace in the long run. That is why it is so important to utilise the experience 
which we have gained in the last war, to maintain the scientific establishments, 
and to keep up those portions of the army, which cannot be so easily raised as 

the recruits who perform the ordinary operations of a campaign We 

have no interest in proposing to the House establishments greater than we 
really think necessary for the public service. We can have no desire to create 
difficulties for our own administration. There is every temptation to a Govern- 
ment to introduce proposals most likely to be adopted by the House ; but, on 
the other hand, it is the duty of a responsible Government, having determined the 
amount of army and navy which is essential for the safety and interest of the 
country, to present to Parliament the result of the conclusions at which they 
have arrived* 



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iS$7 OF GOVERNMENT. 21 

the attack of the Opposition, speedily became apparent. 
How was the Income Tax to be dealt with, was the ques- 
tion on every tongue ; and such was the anxious expectation 
of the country, that the Chancellor of the Exchequer felt it 
necessary to satisfy it by making his financial statement 
within ten days after the meeting of Parliament. His 
proposition to reduce the Income Tax to sevenpence in the 
pound was felt by the majority of the House to be as 
much as the state of the revenue and the exigencies of 
the public service would admit. But the Government 
had nevertheless to encounter a formidable opposition, in 
which the Peelites were arrayed with the Protectionists 
against them; excessive expenditure on the naval and 
military forces, to maintain what was denounced by Mr. 
Disraeli as 4 a turbulent and aggressive policy,' forming 
the principal object of attack. Upon the issue thus 
raised great division existed among the various parties in 
the House, for while Sir James Graham voted against the 
Government with Mr. Disraeli, Mr. Sidney Herbert and the 
leaders of the Manchester school, Mr. Gobden and Mr. 
Milner Gibson, supported Sir George Lewis's Budget, and 
it was finally approved by the decisive majority of eighty 
votes. In the course of these discussions much was said 
about a pledge expressed or implied, alleged to have been 
given in 1853, that the Income Tax should cease altogether 
in 1860, and Mr. Gladstone insisted that this pledge both 
might and ought to be fulfilled. But it appears to have been 
pretty generally felt that any pledge of this kind made for 
an uncertain future was idle, and that, pledge or no pledge, 
events might make it just as impossible to dispense with this 
tax, open to objection as in many respects it must always be, 
as it was necessary in the first instance to impose it. 

The large majority which supported the Ministry on the 
Budget (23rd February) failed them a few nights afterwards, 

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22 DEFEAT OF GOVERNMENT 1857 

-when they found themselves in a minority of sixteen (247 to 
263) on a motion by Mr. Gobden condemnatory of the pro- 
ceedings of the Government in China. The Queen's Speech 
had stated that * acts of violence, insults to the British flag, 
and infraction of treaty rights, committed by the local 
Chinese authority at Canton, and a pertinacious refusal of 
redress, had rendered it necessary for Her Majesty's officers 
in China to have recourse to measures of force to obtain 
satisfaction.' The relations between the English community 
and the local authorities of Canton had for some time been 
on a very uneasy footing, the Chinese showing a determina- 
tion to abridge or even withhold the privileges which they 
had bound themselves by the Treaty of 1846 to grant. Any 
overt act on either side was therefore sure to lead to a col- 
lision. Accordingly, out of an affair which under other 
circumstances might have been settled by a little friendly 
diplomacy, a conflict arose which cost the Chinese population 
very dear, and resulted in another of those wars, which, 
although they have always in the end improved the commer- 
cial intercourse of England with China, have never been very 
popular at home, inflicting as they did great loss and misery 
upon a people innocent of the misdeeds of the rulers by which 
they were caused. A Chinese-built lorcha, called The Arrow, 
having a British register, and flying the British flag, had 
been boarded by a Chinese war-junk, and the crew carried 
off on a charge of piracy. The Chinese Commissioner Yeh 
refused to comply with a demand for satisfaction made by 
Sir John Bowring, the Governor of Hong Kong. Upon this 
the fleet under Admiral Sir Michael Seymour was put in 
motion to enforce reparation for the alleged outrage ; and a 
demand was at the same time made for the free admission of 
foreigners to the port and city of Canton — a condition of the 
Treaty of 1846 which had hitherto been evaded. 

The action of the Government had been challenged by 

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1857 ON QUESTION OF CHINESE WAR. 23 

Lord Derby a few nights before in the House of Lords. 
After a two nights' debate, remarkable for the power with 
which the attack was conducted, Lord Derby's Kesolutions 
were defeated by a majority of thirty-six. They were in 
effect the same as Mr. Cobden's in the other House, which 
asked it to affirm that ' the papers laid on the table failed to 
establish satisfactory grounds for the violent measures re- 
sorted to.' The fact that statesmen like Lords Derby, Lynd- 
hurst, Grey, and Ellenborough had supported this proposition 
in the House of Lords, was not without its influence in the 
other House, where it was enforced with all the eloquence of 
men of such various political opinions as Mr. Gladstone, 
Lord John Russell, Mr. Disraeli, and Mr. Roebuck. The 
debate became one of confidence or no confidence in the 
Government. Meetings of the adherents of both parties 
were held during its progress. But it was easy to foresee 
that, even if the Ministry were defeated, their opponents 
could not hope to form a Government to take their place. 
The question at issue was one on which men could agree, who 
were wide apart on all matters of general policy. Even the 
Conservatives took different sides, and neither they nor the 
Peelites had any hold upon the country in its present 
temper. These facts must have been forgotten for the time 
in the exultation of a coming victory, when, in replying to 
Lord Palmerston at the close of the debate, Mr. Disraeli 
said : ' Let the noble lord, who complains that he is the 
victim of a conspiracy, not only complain to the country — let 
him appeal to it. 9 

The challenge was promptly accepted. The general sup- 
port hitherto given to Government in the House of Commons, 
their majority on the Chinese question in the House of 
Lords, and the hold upon the country which they believed 
themselves — and, as the event proved, with good cause— <o 
possess, were considered by Lord Palmerston to justify him in 

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24 PARLIAMENT DISSOLVED. 1857 

making an appeal to the country instead of resigning. 
Accordingly, on the 5th of March he intimated this intention 
to the House of Commons, stating at the same time that the 
Government, instead of arranging certain taxes, including 
the Income Tax, for three years as they had proposed, would 
confine their scheme to one year, and dissolve Parliament as 
soon as the necessary votes could be taken for carrying on 
public affairs until the reassembling of Parliament. In the 
propriety of this course Mr. Disraeli concurred, remarking 
that it would be for the advantage of the country if members 
entertaining definite opinions should be returned. He raised 
no embarrassing question as to whether or not the Ministry 
were in the meantime to suspend all action in China in 
deference to the vote just come to by the House of Commons. 
Not so, however, Mr. Cobden, Lord John Russell, and the 
Peelite party. ' Was the war,' they asked, 4 which had been 
condemned by the House to be carried on ? Was Sir John 
Bowring, with whom their vote had declared the blame to 
lie, not to be recalled ? ' Lord Palmerston was not a man to 
be overawed by conclusions, however logically cogent, where 
high considerations of State policy dictated a clear line of 
action with which such conclusions were inconsistent. His 
answer to these challenges was, that the Government had for 
some time been concerting, in conjunction with France, and, 
as he trusted, with the United States, how best to improve 
the commercial relations with China through negotiations 
with the Court at Pekin. It would be a matter for grave 
deliberation what person should be charged with the task as 
the envoy of Great Britain. 3 But in the meantime the 

* * Where was the man,' says Mr. Theodore Walrond, ' who at a juncture so 
critical, in face of an adverse vote of the House of Commons, on the chance of its 
being rescinded by the country, could be trusted with so delicate a mission ; 
who could be relied on, in the conduct of such an expedition against a foe alike 
stubborn and weak, to go far enough, and yet not too far— to carry his point, 
by diplomatic skill and force of character, and with the least possible infringe- 

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i8sfr GOVERNMENT GAINS ON ELECTIONS. 25 

policy of the Government would remain what it had been. 
That policy was ' to maintain the rights, to defend the lives 
and properties of British subjects, to improve our relations 
with China, and in the selection and arrangement of the 
means for the accomplishment of those objects, to perform 
the duty which they owed to the country.' 

To which side the sympathies of the country inclined was 
soon apparent. On the very day this announcement was 
made, the Prince's Diary contains the following entry: 
'Tidings that the country in all directions pronounces 
{sich erklart) in favour of Lord Palmerston ; ' and long even 
before the dissolution of Parliament (2 1st March) it was 
obvious that the elections would add considerably to the 
numbers on whom Lord Palmerston could rely for steady 
support. His personal popularity contributed largely to 
this result. The country admired the energy, the address, 
the patriotic spirit, the unfailing good humour of a states- 1 
man from whom years seemed to have taken none of his 
vigour. It had not forgotten that in the recent struggle 
with Russia, while others had lost heart, and had frequently 
shown more sympathy with the nation's adversaries than with 
the nation itself, he had never wavered, and had brought 
England triumphantly, both in the field and at the council 
table, out of a struggle which the great body of the people 
agreed with him was worth all that it had cost. The welfare 
and honour of the country they felt were safe in his hands. 
They had not the same confidence as to an influential section 
of those whose votes on the Chinese question had placed him 
in a minority. The conclusion of the war in Persia, and 
tidings from China which supported the view that the affair 

ment of the law of humanity ; a man with the ability and resolution to insure 
success, and the native strength that can afford to be merciful? After 
"anxious deliberation" the choice fell upon Lord Elgin.' — (Letters and Jour- 
nal* of Lord Elgin, p. 178.) Towards the end of April he left England on 
his mission. 



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26 RESULT OF ELECTIONS. 1857 

of the lorcha was but the indication of a settled purpose to 
put us to defiance and to expel English commerce, also came 
most opportunely to strengthen the appeal of his supporters to 
the constituencies. The fate which befel Mr. Bright and Mr. 
Milner Gibson, who were heavily defeated at Manchester by 
two Ministerial candidates, and Mr. Cobden, who contested 
Huddersfield unsuccessfully against an untried politician, 
was full of significance. Scarcely less so were the numerous 
losses of seats by the Peelites. In all, 189 new members 
were returned to Parliament, with a working majority in 
favour of the Government far beyond their utmost expecta- 
tions. 

The general result was no longer uncertain when the 
Prince wrote (9th April) to the Dowager Duchess of 
Coburg, as follows : — 

' Our elections will be over this week. The Ministry have 
gained twenty-four counties and twenty towns, and the 
apostles of peace have been turned out by the people neck 
and crop. Not because the people do not love peace, and are 
not greedy of money, but because they love their own im- 
portance and their own honour, and will not submit to be 
tyrannised over by the peace-at-any-price people.' 

A few words in the same letter, read by the light of the 
early breakdown of the Prince's health, are full of signifi- 
cance: — 

' I get on pretty well, in spite of a weak stomach, with 
which I came into the world, and which I shall take with 
me to my grave/ 

Some days afterwards (14th April) the Prince had to 
announce to the same correspondent the birth of another 
daughter at Buckingham Palace. The Queen's recovery 
was unusually rapid. On the 19th the Prince writes to his 
stepmother : — 

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1857 DEATH OF DUCHESS OF GLOUCESTER. 27 

4 Hearty thanks for your good wishes on the birth of your 
latest grandchild, who is thriving famously, and is prettier 
than babies usually are. Victoria is already on the sofa, and 
very well, and sends you by me a cordial greeting. Mama- 
Aunt, Vicky, and her bridegroom are to be the little one's 
sponsors, and she is to receive the historical, romantic, 
euphonious, melodious names of Beatrice, Mary, Victoria, 
Feodora.' 4 

But the happiness caused by the birth of a child, whose 
attractive ways, as we shall see, were to brighten many of the 
hours of the few remaining years of the Prince's life, was 
clouded by the sudden illness, two days afterwards, of the 
Duchess of Gloucester. She died, at the age of eighty-one, 
on the 30th of the same month. This amiable lady was the 
last survivor of the family of George III. In a letter to the 
Prince the day she died, Lord Clarendon, who knew her well, 
paid her this enviable tribute : 4 1 believe that no person ever 
lived who had more attached friends than the Duchess of 
Gloucester, or whose loss will be deplored with more genuine 
sorrow.' These words were valued by the Queen and Prince, 
for they expressed their own feeling. After speaking of her in 
nearly the same language in a letter to King Leopold a few 
days afterwards, the Queen adds : c Her age, and her being a 
link with bygone times and generations, as well as her great 
kindness, amiability, and unselfishness, rendered her more 
and more dear and precious to us all, and we all looked 
upon her as a sort of grandmother. Her end was most 
peaceful.' 

Among the letters of congratulation on the birth of the 

4 ' She is to be called Beatrice,' the Queen writes to King Leopold (6th May), 
' a fine old name, borne by three of the Plantagenet Princesses, and her other 
names will be Mary (after poor Aunt Mary), Victoria (after Mama and Vicky, 
who with Fritz Wilhelm are to be the sponsors), and Feodore' [the Queen's 
r]. 'I hope yon approve the choice.' 



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28 RUSSIA'S APPROACHES TO FRENCH. 1857 

Princess which reached the Queen, not the least cordial was 
one from the Emperor of the French. It touched upon the 
vexed question of Neuchatel, which now promised to be 
amicably settled, 5 and alluded to the approaching visit to 
Paris of the Grand Duke Constantine. * I am grieved,' the 
Emperor wrote, * to see that the English wish to attach a 
significance to this visit which does not belong to it. We 
are gratified here by the goodwill and courtesy shown to us 
by Russia, but this in no way weakens the interests and the 
feelings by which we are bound to England.' 

As the letter touched upon politics, it was as a matter of 
course passed on by the Prince to the Foreign Secretary. It 
seemed to Lord Clarendon, and also to Lord Palmerston, to 
furnish an opportunity for opening the Emperor's eyes to 
the fact, of which they were well aware through authentic 
intelligence from other quarters, that the c bons precedes ' of 
Russia meant something more than the courtesy of courtly 
friendship, and formed part of a well-studied scheme for under- 
mining the Anglo-French Alliance. They also thought it well 
he should be told, that it was not wholly without reason that 
the English press were suspicious of the obsequious advances 
of the Russian Court to a Sovereign whom that Court had 
treated at the outset of his reign with studied indignity, 
and with whom, or the political creed of whose people, they 
could not have any natural sympathy. Accordingly, acting 
upon their suggestion, the Prince drew up the following 
reply. It was well known that the Emperor attached the 
greatest value to his good opinion. Neither was any one 
more likely to influence a mind which was already beginning 
to cast about for the means of carrying into effect his 
favourite projects for the readjustment of the boundaries of 
Europe, and which, in the matter of the Danubian Princi- 
palities, about which a keen diplomatic controversy was now 

1 See voL Hi. ants, p. 508. 

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1857 LETTER TO EMPEROR OF THE FRENCH. 29 

raging, had shown a disposition to fall in with the views of 
Russia rather than with those of Austria and England. 

'Buckingham Palace, 28th April, 1857. 

'Sire and dear Brother, — I received with the greatest 
pleasure your Majesty's kind letter. The Queen has been 
greatly touched by the good wishes you express for her and 
for our little girl. She knows that the sentiments you so 
well express are of such long standing, that they are sincere 
and lasting, and she also attaches, as you know, the highest 
value to your friendship. For myself I set the greatest store 
upon every fresh mark of your Majesty's confidence ; this 
feeling on my part has never varied since the first time we 
met at Boulogne. It has been cherished amid all the diffi- 
culties through which we have passed ; and this cordiality of 
intercourse has been of undeniable benefit to the country/ 

After congratulating the Emperor on the successful results 
of His Majesty's efforts to bring about a settlement of the 
Neuchatel question, the Prince continues : — 

' As to the journey of the Grand Duke Constantine, I 
thoroughly appreciate what your Majesty says on this sub- 
ject, and I regret no less than yourself, Sire, the interpreta- 
tion sought to be put on this visit by our press. Your 
Majesty does well to cultivate the friendship of all the 
reigning families in Europe, and of the peoples over whom 
they rule. The greatest good may result from relations of 
this kind ; and our Alliance would be a veritable bondage if 
from jealous motives it asked you to renounce for its sake 
every other friendship. It is a sincere pleasure to the Queen 
and to myself that your Majesty should be more known and 
understood. But the impression which this interchange of 
courtesies with Bussia may produce, both upon Russia herself 
and upon the rest of the* European public, is quite another 

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30 LETTER BY THE PRINCE 1857 

matter, and is well worthy of consideration. First, as 
regards Russia, one may ask if she will not be led by it to 
conceive hopes and designs which your Majesty has never- 
theless no intention to encourage ; or if she will not flatter 
herself with the idea of being able in this way to undermine 
the Anglo-French Alliance, which is certainly the most 
intelligible aim and most natural object of her policy ? As 
regards the European public, it can only judge of things by 
external appearances ; but the opinion which is begotten by 
these appearances exercises a great influence on men's minds, 
and produces in the long run a kind of general sentiment, 
which frequently prevents a Government from remaining 
master of its actions so thoroughly as it started with the 
intention of being. This certainly is the case in a country 
so free as England, where everything is inquired into and 
discussed without restraint. But even in France, where dis- 
cussion is more limited, where the press is a less active agent, 
a rapid and animated public opinion is formed, of which no 
one is more skilled than your Majesty in noting the birth, 
the growth, and the force, and in accordance with which you 
have yourself to regulate your line of political conduct, — as 
witness the conclusion of the war and the general tenor of 
the negotiations for peace. 

* In the present case, what renders the English public and 
press more sensitive is the fact that, possessing as they do 
great political knowledge and experience, they probe to their 
foundation the bases of our Alliance ; they study the causes 
which render it so desirable, and so work with all the greater 
ardour to preserve it. Now they find that this Alliance is 
based upon the two nations being on the same level of 
civilisation, — upon a mutual desire to develop as much as 
possible sciences, art, letters, commerce, &c. Ac.,— upon our 
close vicinity to each other, which makes a good under- 
standing necessary, — and upon the well-being and the happi- 

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1857 TO THE EMPEROR OF THE FRENCH 31 

ness of the two countries, which are bound so intimately 
together. 

* If, on the other hand, they ask what might be the basis 
of an alliance with Russia, they find that there is a com- 
plete dissimilitude of views, of feelings, and of ideas ; that 
in the eyes of Russia, Western civilisation, far from having 
any title to be encouraged, is the enemy that ought above 
all others to be resisted ; and that there exists between the 
two such an absence of mutual interests that, in truth, if 
the one ceased to exist, the other would scarcely be affected* 
Thus they conclude that if, notwithstanding these funda- 
mental differences, the Russian Alliance is desired or sought 
for, this Alliance can have for its basis nothing but an 
external and purely political motive. Immediately all 
Europe sets to work to reflect, and asks itself what this 
motive is; confidence is shaken; England naturally is the 
first to take the alarm, which is soon shared equally by the 
rest of the world. The Queen and myself personally are 
convinced that your Majesty has no intention of this kind, 
and, so far as we are concerned, the fresh assurances on this 
subject which your Majesty has been pleased to give in your 
last letter were superfluous. At the same time I have thought 
it well to explain the cause of the susceptibility of the public 
and the press, which, in my judgment, has its origin in the 
very idea which is at the bottom of our Alliance. 

'Your Majesty will find the Grand Duke Constantine 
a very agreeable man. It is some years since I saw him, but 
he then struck me as able, intelligent, thoroughly educated, 
and full of zeal and ardour in everything which he under- 
takes. Above all, what left the deepest impression on me 
was his eminently and exclusively Russian characteristics. 
For him Holy Russia, its beliefs, its prejudices, its errors and 
its faults, the Paganism of its religion, the barbarism of its 
populations, are objects of the most profound veneration. 

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32 LETTER BY THE PRINCE. 1857 

He adores them with a blind and ardent faith. In a word, 
he appeared to me, in all the conversations which I had with 
him, so profoundly Oriental in all his views and aspirations, 
that it struck me as impossible to make him comprehend 
the ideas and the sentiments of the West, or to get him to 
appreciate and still less to like them. I should be curious 
to learn, if he is still the same man I found him, and what 
impression he makes upon your Majesty. 

'I shall not close this long and friendly chat, without 
begging you to accept the expression of our warmest good 
wishes for your Majesty, for the Empress, and the young 
Prince Imperial. The Queen, who has been greatly touched 
by your message to her, is in a state of health so satisfactory, 
that we hope soon to be able to go to the Isle of Wight ; but 
you will be sorry to hear, that the illness of the good Duchess 
of Gloucester is causing us at this moment the most serious 
anxiety. I have the honour to be, Sire, your Imperial 
Majesty's good brother and friend, 

* Albert.' 

This letter, before being despatched, was submitted in the 
usual way to the consideration of the Prime Minister and 
Lord Clarendon. By them it was pronounced ' most ex- 
cellent.' It ought, Lord Clarendon wrote to the Prince, 
'to open the Emperor's eyes to the consequences of his 
adulation of Russia, and above all to put him on his guard 
against that extremely well veneered gentleman, the Grand 
Duke Constantine.' 

The Emperor of the French took the Prince's letter in 
good part, and it was doubtless not forgotten, at least for the 
time, in his relations with those who were pressing the 
Eussian alliance upon him. ' Your reflections,' he wrote to 
the Prince (1st May), 4 appear to me most just, but I answer 
them by this simple remark. When one is following a plain 

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i8$7 LETTER OF EMPEROR OF THE FRENCH. 33 

straightforward course, when without making advances one 
is simply meeting civilities with civilities (de bons pro- 
c&tts par procSdis Squivcdents), why disquiet oneself about 
the mistakes of public opinion ? And besides, how are they 
to be prevented, if they exist, although one's conduct gives 
no kind of warrant for them ? ' 

This was no doubt written in all sincerity. But it is 
nevertheless certain, that, unconsciously it may be to the 
Emperor himself, the flattering advances of Russia, which 
continued to be persevered in under every discouragement, 
were not without influence in the end upon his subsequent 
policy* 



vol. IT . D 

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34 



CHAPTER LXXVL 

On the 5th of May, the Prince opened the Manchester Art 
Treasures Exhibition. It toad been feared that his intention 
to do so might have been abandoned in consequence of the 
death of the Duchess of Gloucester. But no private grief or 
conventional decorum was ever allowed by the Prince to inter- 
fere with the call of a public duty, and there was yet another 
reason for his going, which was gracefully expressed by himself 
in replying to the address of condolence presented to him by 
the General Council of the Exhibition : — 

' If I have thought it my duty/ he said, ' to attend here to-day, 
although her mortal remains have not yet been carried to their 
last place of rest, my decision has been rendered easy by the 
conviction that, could her own opinions and wishes have been 
known, she would, with that sense of duty and patriotic feeling 
which so much distinguished her, and the generation to which 
she belonged, have been anxious that I should not on her 
account, or from private feelings, disturb an arrangement in- 
tended for the public good.' 

Not the less was the Prince's decision felt to be a crowning 
kindness to the active help which he had given towards 
making this Exhibition the great success which it was by this 
time known to be in itself, and which it ultimately proved to 
be financially. Early in 1 856, the appeal made to him by its 
projectors to aid them by procuring pictures and other works 
of art from the Royal Collections, had been most cordially 
answered by the Queen and by himself. When the arrange- 

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i8$7 MANCHESTER FINE ARTS EXHIBITION 3$ 

ments were more advanced, a deputation from the General 
Committee explained to the Prince, at Buckingham Palace, 
on the 2nd of July, 1856, their views as to the nature and 
character of the collection which they proposed to bring 
together. The great difficulty which they saw before them 
was to persuade the owners of valuable works of art, who were 
naturally jealous of their safety, to part with them for how- 
ever short a time. Next day the Prince, in a letter to the 
Earl of Ellesmere, the Chairman of the General Committee 
for the Exhibition, furnished them with what proved to be an 
effective solution of the problem, by pointing out, that the 
difficulty would disappear, if it were known that the Exhibition 
had a higher purpose than that of merely gratifying the 
public curiosity, and giving an intellectual entertainment to 
the population of a particular locality. * A person,' he wrote, 
' who would not otherwise be inclined to part with a picture 
would probably shrink from refusing it if he knew that his 
doing so tended to mar the realisation of a great national 
object.' A national purpose which might be appealed to, 
the same letter stated — 

'might be found in the educational direction which may be 
given to the whole scheme. No country invests a larger amount 
of capital in works of art of all kinds than England ; and in 
none almost is so little done for art-education. If the collection 
you propose to form were made to illustrate the history of art in 
a chronological and systematic arrangement, it would speak 
powerfully to the public mind, and enable, in a practical way, 
the most uneducated eye to gather the lessons which ages of 
thought and scientific research have attempted to abstract; 
and would present to the world for the first' time a gallery 
such as no other country could produce, but for which, I feel 
convinced, the materials exist abundantly in private hands 
among us. 

' As far as painting is concerned, I enclose a catalogue, ex- 
hibiting all the different schools, with the masters who illustrate 
them which able hands have compiled for me, and which was 

i> 2 



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36 MANCHESTER EXHIBITION. 1857 

communicated to the National Gallery Committee of 1853, and 
printed by them with the evidence. 

* If such a catalogue for instance were to be filled up with the 
specimens of the best paintings by the different masters enume- 
rated in it which exist in this country, I feel certain that the Com- 
mittee would come to their owners with very different powers of 
persuasion and a very different claim to attention, than when the 
demand for the loan of certain of their pictures was apparently 
dependent upon mere accident or caprice.' 

The Prince's advice was followed. His letter was made 
public, and the consequence was that a representative collec- 
tion of works of art was brought together, such as could not 
have been organised in any other way. Their owners entered 
heartily into his views, and eagerly followed the example 
which was set them by the Queen of placing their treasures 
at the disposal of the Committee. What distinguished the 
Exhibition from anything that had before been attempted, was 
the completeness with which various branches of art were 
illustrated, while at the same time the collection was brought 
within limits which kept the attention from being either 
distracted or fatigued. The Prince, as he himself said, in his 
address to the Executive Committee at the opening ceremony, 
had watched the undertaking 4 with the deepest interest from 
its first inception.' The enthusiasm, the energy, and the 
finish with which every detail was carried out, were quite 
after his own heart. With the splendid results which they 
had achieved before him, it was with peculiar emphasis 
that he could congratulate the Committee in the same 
address upon the success which had so far crowned their 
labours. 

What was done by the Prince on the opening day is a 
good illustration of the fatigue of body and mind which he 
was constantly undergoing. Leaving Buckingham Palace at 
six in the morning, he reached Cheadle, near Stockport, soon 
after eleven. Here he was met by Mr. Watts, the Mayor of 



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l«57 PRINCE VISITS MANCHESTER. 37 

Manchester, and some of the county magnates. From that 
time till seven in the evening he had not a moment to him- 
self. The incidents of the day, however, are best told in a 
letter which he wrote to the Queen that evening on his return 
to Abney Hall, the residence of Mr. Watts : — 

' It is half-past seven, and I am half undressed, to put 
myself into plain clothes for dinner, and half dead too with 
the day's fatigues. It was nearly seven before we got back 
from Manchester. As the telegraph will have informed you, 
we arrived here about twelve, having been driven — a distance 
of some five miles — by the Mayor of Manchester, Mr. Watts, 
in his carriage from the station. Abney Hall is a house built 
upon a Gothic design and decorated by Mr. Crace, in the 
highest style of luxe, with the finest pictures, &c. After 
luncheon, we donned our uniform, and drove with an escort, 
&c. &c, to Manchester, some six miles, and through the 
town, amidst great cheering, — Sir Harry Smith upon his arab 
44 charging the multitude." We reached the Exhibition about 
two. The officials were all assembled in the waiting-room. 
Of those present whom I knew, were Lords Overstone, Gran- 
ville, Stanley, Ward, Hill, Yarborough, Carlisle, the Dukes 
of Newcastle and Argyle, M. Van de Weyer, Dallas, and 
the Negro [the Minister from Hayti]. The presentation 
of the Corporation address took place in the Great Hall, 
and my answer, with my frightful voice, " quite cracked!" l 
The procession then marched up the Hall to the dai's, where 
44 God save the Queen" (Clara Novello, Sims Reeves, and 
Weiss, Halle directing) was sung. Then followed Lord 
Overstone's address of condolence on the occasion of the 
Duchess of Gloucester's death, and my answer, Mr. Fair- 
bairn's Exhibition address and my answer, then "The Heavens 
are telling," the Bishop of Manchester's prayer, and the 

1 Tho Prince was suffering from a cold, and had almost lost his voice. 

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38 VISIT BY THE PRINCE 1857 

Hundredth Psalm. The perambulation of the building 
followed ; then back to the dais, " The Bright Seraphim," then 
my declaration of the opening, and the " Hallelujah Chorus." 
After this we examined the pictures, &c. for a couple of hours 
— a wonderful collection, 8 the building very beautiful and 
tastefully decorated, the people very friendly. I saw Waagen, 
Playfair, Chadwick, Jacob Omnium, Lewis, Eastlake, Lord 
Elcho, W. Cowper, Carl Haag, &c. 

4 Back as before. I hope you will be able to understand 
my account ; the newspapers will fill up the details. . . . 

'I shall not stay long after dinner. Only the Mayor, 
Mrs. Watts, and Miss Watts will be there, besides my own 
suite. 

' Abney Hall, 6th May, 1857/ 

By eight o'clock next morning, the Prince started for the 
Peel Park at Salford. He received an address from the Cor- 
poration of Salford, in the Museum and Free Library, to 
which he replied. After visiting the Exhibition of Man- 
chester Local Artists, he attended the unveiling of a statue 
of the Queen in the Peel Park, where he again spoke. 8 Soon 
after midday, he was on his way to London, and six o'clock 
found him present in Buckingham Palace in the Council 
Boom, when the Speech for the opening of the new Par- 
liament was submitted for the approval of the Queen. No 
wonder that his Diary for the day concludes with the words : 
4 Very tired — early to bed (sehr mude,fruh zv, Betty 

The replies by the Prince to the Manchester addresses 

* * Wundervoll vollstandig und retch. — Wonderfully complete and rich ' — 
is the entry in the Prince's Diary the same day. 

* This statue, as the inscription on it bears, was erected to commemorate 
the Queen's visit to the Peel Park (10th Oct. 1851) by the contributions, aided 
by public subscription, of 80,000 Sunday-School teachers and scholars, who 
were present to welcome Her Majesty on that occasion. — See ante, vol. ii. 
p. 400. 



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i8$7 TO MANCHESTER EXHIBITION. 39 

were somewhat more occasional than his addresses usually 
were. This was remarked by the very thoughtful and high- 
minded journalist who conducted the Spectator at the time ; 
but he added : * Prince Albert seldom speaks in public with- 
out depositing the seed of thought for future reflections 
among those who hear him and those who read his words/ 
He then proceeds : — 

* In responding to the address of the Executive Committee, 
the Prince entered into the spirit of the subject, and touched upon 
some points which should set Manchester men thinking. 

* " If," he said, " art is the purest expression of the state of 
mental and religious culture, and of general civilisation, of any 
age or people, an historical and chronological review given at one 
glance cannot fail to impress us with a just appreciation of the 
peculiar characteristics of the different periods and countries, the 
works of which are here exhibited to us, and of the influence 
which they have exercised upon each other. 

* " In comparing these works with those of our own age and 
country, while we may well be proud of the immense develop- 
ment of knowledge and power of production which we possess, we 
have reason also for humility in contemplating the refinement of 
feeling and intensity of thought manifested in the works of the 
older schools." 

* . . . What is the connection between Art, Manufactures, 
and the Church ? Prince Albert, who views all these subjects 
from the highest ground, perceives that there are no forms of 
beauty and of utility in action which are not governed by the 
same laws of order that govern the universe and give delight to 
the living creatures thereof. 

' We possess developed "knowledge" and "productive power: " 
a glance at the tame pictures in the Royal Academy of the pre- 
sent year, at the building-contractors' style of architecture dis- 
played in Westminster Hall, 4 will show how faint are the 
" feelings " carried into art, and how superficial the " thought." 
The mannerism of art, the imitation of " effects " in painting, 
and the adaptation of building rules to the lath and plaster 

4 Alluding to the exhibition there of competitive designs for the new 
Foreign Office. 



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40 ADDRESSES BY THE PRINCE. 1857 

materials of our cheap day, nearly exhaust reflection. Other- 
wise art would develop some better adaptation of its forms and 
beauties to present materials and to present building wants. 
Prince Albert did not preach the sermon to the Manchester men ; 
he only gave them the text. The very expressions " religion " 
and " intensity of thought" will set them questioning, and in re- 
flecting they will preach the sermon to themselves.' 

In another article in the same paper (9th May) the writer 
called attention to a few words from the Prince's speech at 
Salford on uncovering the Queen's statue, which may be 
commended to the attention of those political writers who 
have discovered in him an advocate of personal government. 
The Prince's language, says the Spectator, 'will perhaps 
equally astonish both despots and democrats in coming from 
the mouth of a royal person. He trusted that the future 
inhabitants of Salford would find in the contemplation of 
that statue " an assurance that, where loyalty and attach- 
ment to the Sovereign, as the representative of the institu- 
tions of the country 9 are linked to an ardent love of progress, 
founded upon self-reliance and self-improvement, a country 
cannot fail to prosper, under favour of the Almighty." There 
are few men,' says the very advanced Liberal by whom this 
was written, i who could put the pith of our Constitution 
into a sentence so tersely and clearly as the first gentleman 
in our commonwealth.' 

On the 7th of May the Court went to Osborne, from which 
the Prince came to Windsor next day to attend the burial of 
the Duchess of Gloucester in St. George's Chapel. 'Very 
touching ' (sehr ergreifend) is the brief record of the cere- 
mony in his Diary. 

In Parliament, which had met on the 30th of April, and 
elected Mr. John Evelyn Denison, Speaker, in the place of Mr. 
Shaw Lefevre, now Lord Eversley, who had for eighteen years 
filled that office with signal ability and success, no business 

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1857 MEETING OF NEW PARLIAMENT. 41 

beyond the swearing-in of members was transacted until the 
7th of May, when the Queen's Speech was delivered by the 
Lord Chancellor. It contained little of interest beyond the 
announcement that a treaty of peace had been concluded 
with Persia, and that a plenipotentiary had been sent to 
China, who would be supported by an adequate naval and 
military force, to deal with the disputes there which still 
remained unadjusted. It promised measures of legal reform. 
On the subject of Parliamentary fieform it was silent, and this 
silence was strongly commented on in the discussion on the 
Address. The agitators of this question were quieted by Lord 
Palmerston's assurance that before next Session it would be 
the duty of the Government to take the subject into their 
fullest and most deliberate consideration; but that they 
felt no useful purpose could be served by calling upon the 
House during the present Session — of necessity a very short 
one, — to engage in discussions upon the large and sweeping 
questions of a change in the representation of the "people in 
Parliament. 

Baron Stockmar, who had spent the winter in England on 
what proved to be his last visit to the Queen and Prince, 
was now in Brussels. Some weeks before he had written 
(9th March) to King Leopold : — 

* In the spring of 1837, now twenty years ago, I returned to 
England to give what help I could to the Princess Victoria, 
now Queen. This year I shall be seventy, and I am no longer 
equal, mentally or physically, to perform the laborious and ex- 
hausting office of a paternal friend and trusted confessor. I 
must say good-by, and this time for ever. This is bat the 
coarse of nature. And it is well for me that I can do so with 
the clearest conscience, for I have worked as long as I had 
strength to work, and for a purpose no one can impugn. The 
consciousness of this is my reward : the only one which I desired 
to earn ; and I am assured, that my beloved master and friend, 
knowing thoroughly as he does the whole facts of the case, will 



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42 LETTER BY THE PRINCE. 1857 

freely and gladly, and from the bottom of his heart, bear witness 
that I have deserved it ' — (Denktvurdigkeiten, p. 44.) 

However unfit he might think himself, Baron Stockmar was 
nevertheless to be to the last the Prince's 4 paternal friend 
and trusted confessor.' A few days after the Baron left 
England, the Prince resumed his correspondence with him 
in the following letter (16th May) : — 

' Surmising you to be still in Brussels, I cannot resist 
sending you a couple of lines. 

' The sad expedition to [the funeral of the Duchess of 
Gloucester at] Windsor went off well, and I have not caught 
fresh cold in St. George's Chapel ; my cough, however, has 
not been got rid of, and will scarcely be so, while the east 
wind, which declines to move, lasts. Even Osborne does not 
look so green as it should. 

c The opening of Parliament and the Address went off well. 
Lord Palmerston's answer about Eeform was, I think, the 
right one. . . . 

4 I enclose two extracts from the Spectator, as to my 
answer to the Manchester addresses, not from vanity, but 
because they may give you pleasure. 

' All the children are well, as also the Queen, who gains 
visibly in strength. May this be the case with you also, and 
may the contact with new things and new people have a 
vivifying effect upon you, as it usually has ! Alfred has shot 
a capercailzie at Oberhof ; you may conceive his exultation I 
Coburg, alas ! is sure to be grey and leafless. . • • 

' I have begun to read Marmont [Duke of Ragusa's 
Memoirs], which interest me uncommonly.' 

A few days afterwards the official announcement was made 
of the intended marriage of the Princess Boyal to Prince 
Frederick William of Prussia. On the 16th it had been 
formally announced in the Prussian Official Gazette (the 

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1857 VOTE OF DOWRY TO CROWN PRINCESS. 43 

Staats-Anzeiger), and on the 19th it was communicated to 
Parliament by a message from the Queen, in which Her 
Majesty expressed her confidence in the assistance of Parlia- 
ment ' in enabling her to make such a provision for her eldest 
daughter, with a view to the marriage, as may be suitable to 
the dignity of the Crown and the honour of the country.' It 
was the Prince's wish that this occasion should have been 
taken to settle once for all what provision should be made 
for the Eoyal children, and so to obviate the necessity 
of appeals to Parliament, which, however liberally re- 
sponded to, could scarcely be agreeable. But the Ministry 
were averse to this course, and seem indeed to have been 
under some misgiving as to how Parliament might be dis- 
posed to deal with the special case which they were now called 
upon to meet. It was soon obvious, however, that this mis- 
giving was unfounded. By a majority of 328 to 14 the House 
of Commons supported the Government proposal to settle 
a dowry of 40,000Z., with an annuity of 4,00(M., upon the 
Princess, and Mr. Disraeli spoke the prevailing sentiment 
both there and throughout the country, when he said that it 
became the House ' to consider in a generous spirit an appeal 
not only necessary, but which all were ready to welcome 
with sympathy and respectful affection.' 

The Prince could not have failed to be gratified by the 
prevailing tone of the discussion. Writing (28th May) to 
Baron Stockmar, whom he knew to feel a deep interest in 
the subject, he said : — 

' The dominant feeling in the House seems to have been 
that it ought to give what the Ministers proposed, whether 
this was more or less ; that a discussion would be out of 
place, and a division greatly to be lamented. The House 
was determined to be unanimous out of respect for the 
Queen* Roebuck, therefore, was able to do nothing, and the 



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44 CAUSES OF UNEASINESS 1857 

Chancellor of the Exchequer was laughed at when with 
childish ingenuousness he went back upon Blackstone, 
George II., &c. fi 

6 All this only shows how little politicians, in their over- 
anxiety, often know what the feeling of the country is. 
Seeing how marked was the desire to keep questions relating 
to the Eoyal family aloof from the pressure of party conflict, 
and to have them settled, it would, I believe, have been an 
easy matter to have carried through the future endowments 
of them all, according to the Chancellor of the Exchequer s 
and Palmerston's original plan, which was subsequently 
dropped by the Cabinet ; and I more than regret that this 
was not done. Still, even as it is, we have established a 
good precedent, not merely for the grant itself, but for the 
way and manner in which such grants should be dealt with/ 

It might have been thought that, while, the wasting 
effects of the Crimean War were still so vividly present to 
men's minds, no Power in Europe would have either felt or pro- 
voked the desire to embark in fresh conflict. But beyond the 
irritation which war must always leave behind it, there were 
special elements of disturbance, in which those who were in 
the secrets of diplomacy saw grounds for serious alarm. 
Russia made no secret, that, if she acquiesced in her present 
defeat, she did so only in the hope of renewing her inroads 
on the Ottoman Empire, when her forces were sufficiently 
recruited to enable her to make a dead letter of the Treaty 
of Paris. Much might have happened in Europe before that 
time to make the same combination of the Western Powers 

* A few days later, in the discussion on the Bill to carry out the Resolution 
of the House, Mr. Roebuck, who had objected to the annuity in the first 
instance, took the opportunity to make what the Prince in a letter (2nd 
June) to Stockmar calls * a loyal effusion/ in which he contrasted his own loyal 
behaviour with that of Th# Times, as represented by Mr. Walter. * The speech 
produced a great impression on the House, and indicates the views which 
Sheffield may have placed before its representative/ 



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i857 IN EUROPE. 45 

impossible, before which she had for the time been compelled 
to succumb. She might count on the miserable government 
of Turkey to falsify the promises of reform which were de- 
manded from it, when that treaty was concluded, and to be, 
as it had always been, the tool of the vile intrigues of which 
Constantinople was the centre. If only the European Powers 
should relapse into easy indifference as to the fulfilment by 
the Porte of its pledges to turn over a new leaf and to take 
measures for the welfare of the races under its rule, and for 
a sound administration of its finances, it would never be diffi- 
cult to bring up the Eastern question at some convenient 
season, when impatient disgust at a misrule and at an in- 
veteracy of corruption which no warnings from within or 
from without could arrest, might have detached from the 
Ottoman Government the sympathy of every other European 
Power. In the unceasing struggle for influence at the Porte 
among the representatives of the European Powers — that 
* IvMe mesquine et maUavne? as it was well called by Prince 
Gortschakoff — no point was likely to be lost by the represen- 
tatives of the Power which alone of them all had marked 
Constantinople for its prey. The political blunder committed 
by the Emperor Nicholas, in his frank disclosures on the point 
to Sir Hamilton Seymour, was not likely to be repeated by 
his successors. Europe, Russia knew well, must be lulled 
into forgetfulness of what it had learned as to her hereditary 
policy on such unmistakable authority, before any fresh 
attempt in that direction could be made with the smallest 
hope of success. But she could afford to wait. Indeed she 
had no choice but to do so, as long years must elapse before 
she could hope to be in a position to go to war. Meanwhile, 
however, she lost no time in preparing the way for avenging 
her past defeat and recovering by diplomacy what she had 
lost in the field. 

With Austria nothing was to be done. She was loyal to 

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46 RUSSIA AND FRANCE. 1857 

Turkey, and open neither to blandishment nor temptation. 
Besides, the bitterness felt by Russia towards a Power on 
which she had counted as a friend, and which had failed her in 
her difficulties, was extreme. With France it was different. 
The visions of European changes which were known to be 
cherished by the Emperor of the French made him open to 
approach. Accordingly the most strenuous efforts were 
directed towards weaning him from the policy for which he 
had so recently fought. How far he may have been swayed 
by the arguments of Russian diplomatists it is of course im- 
possible to say. But nothing is more certain than this, that 
however ready he would have been then or at any time to 
oppose to the last an aggressive policy, which would have 
enabled Russia to advance her hold upon Turkish territory, 
his opinions by the beginning of 1857 were so far altered, 
that he would not again have drawn the sword in support of 
the integrity and independence of the Ottoman Empire, if 
threatened from other quarters. It could have been no secret 
to Russia, for it was well known elsewhere, that he would now 
have even looked with complacency upon the dismember- 
ment of an Empire, for the preservation of which hardly a 
year had passed since he was in arms. 

Our own Government was aware that during the conferences 
in Paris the French Emperor had been quite ready to com- 
mence the work of disintegration, and had gone so far as to 
urge Austria to take possession of the Principalities. All 
higher considerations apart, much could not be said for the 
sagacity which prompted such a proposal, in view of the terrible 
expiation so recently extorted from Russia for the ambition of 
the Emperor Nicholas in the same direction. Austria was not 
likely to fall into the error of entertaining such a suggestion ; 
for, besides being wild and unjust in itself, this would have 
opened the way for its author to seek modifications of the 
Austrian territories in other quarters, in furtherance of that 

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1857 FEEUSG IN PARIS. 47 

fixed idea of an attention of the map of Europe, which had 
an expansion of the frontiers of France for its primary motive. 
The offer was refused, and the refusal was followed by a 
change from extreme friendliness to undisguised bitterness 
in the tone maintained by the Emperor and his Government 
towards Austria and her ambassador Count BuoL Simul- 
taneously with this change, the advances of Russia towards 
France, referred to in the last chapter, became more marked, 
and a peculiar emphasis was given to them by the visit of 
the Grand Duke Constantine to Paris. 

The friendliness of the Emperor towards England remained 
substantially unaltered. But it was impossible to be blind 
to the fact, that a certain amount of soreness had sprung up 
in his mind, due partly to the strong language of the press, 
and partly to the refusal of the Government to countenance 
in any way his views as to a revision of the Treaty of Vienna, 
or to concur in his plans for the settlement of the Princi- 
palities. Thus, on the 16th of May, the Prince writes from 
Osborne to Baron Stockmar: — 

' In Paris they seem embittered against us, and especially so 
against Austria. For revisions of the map we are of course 
inconvenient allies, and Austria, because of her position in 
Italy, and her determination not to permit the Principalities 
to be wrested from the Porte, is in downright opposition. 
It is in this and this alone, that the key is to be sought and 
found.' 

The future constitution of the Principalities had been left 
by the Treaty of Paris to be settled by the Treaty Powers, 
after receiving the Report of a special Commission appointed 
' to investigate their present state, and to propose bases for 
their future organisation.' The administration guaranteed 
by the Porte to these provinces under the Treaty was to be 
' independent and national/ with ' full liberty of worship, of 



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48 THE DANUBIAN PRINCIPALITIES. 1857 

legislation, of commerce, and of navigation.' The Porte 
also undertook to convoke immediately in each of the two 
provinces a Divan, composed in such a manner as to represent 
most closely the interests of all classes of society, who were 
to be called upon to express the wishes of the people in re- 
gard to the definite organisation of the Principalities. 

There was here the basis for a good settlement, had all the 
parties interested been equally sincere in wishing merely for 
what was best for the people affected, and in upholding at the 
same time their allegiance to the Porte. But the ink of the 
Treaty was scarcely dry, when it became obvious that other 
interests and very conflicting views were at work. The 
Emperor Napoleon had come to the conclusion (see ante, 
vol. iii. p. 465), that the best thing for the Principalities 
themselves was that they should be united under a foreign 
Prince, who should admit the suzerainty of Turkey, fiussia 
advocated their union with this difference, that it should be 
presided over by a native Prince. This did not fall in with 
the views of the French Emperor, who seems to have been 
sincerely anxious to make the Principalities strong as a 
barrier against Russia ; whereas, with a native Prince at the 
head of the State, he was well aware that Russia would be 
able to use her accustomed arts to gain a control over these 
provinces. Sardinia took the same view as France, and in- 
deed the project of the French Emperor had everything upon 
its face to recommend it, had there been nothing to fear from 
Russia in the future. 

To him, as we have said, the integrity of the Turkish 
Empire had become a matter of indifference. But it was 
scarcely to be expected that this feeling should be shared by 
his former allies the English, or by Austria, to both of whom 
the aggrandisement of Russian power in the East was a 
certain source of future difficulty. Austria, who had hitherto 
found Turkey an excellent neighbour, was opposed to an 

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I8$7 THE DANUBIAN PRINCIPALITIES. 49 

union, which, besides affecting the security of her Eastern 
provinces, appeared to her to be calculated to pull down the 
authority of the Sultan. The English Government, fresh 
from its experience of the desperate struggle of fiussia to 
maintain by the possession of Bessarabia her hold upon the 
Danube, and well informed through its agents, that the old 
policy of Bussia in the East would continue to regulate her 
future proceedings, shared in the view of Austria — and this 
was the view of the Porte also— that the erection of the two 
provinces into one independent State would be the first blow 
to the vitality, if not the existence of the Ottoman Empire 
in Europe. And among the considerations which went to 
confirm these three Powers in this opinion was the presence 
to their minds of the probability, that the Principalities, 
although so united, would be too weak to act as the barrier, 
which the Emperor of the French maintained they would 
be, to any future advance of Russia; while in the hope of 
achieving complete independence, they would naturally make 
common cause with that Power, and aid in establishing its 
hold on the Bulgarian provinces. 

The differences between the Powers on this subject had 
begun to assume a critical aspect. But the chief source of 
apprehension was the Emperor of the French, and those 
dreams of an enlargement of the French frontier, which 
exercised — the phrase is Stockmar's — * a demonic influence ' 
over him. Thus on the 18th of May, Lord Clarendon writes 
to the Prince: — 

' I think, as your Royal Highness does, that it is incumbent 
on us to watch the Emperor closely, as it is plain that a number 
of wild projects are floating in his head, and that he desires to 
immortalise himself by a redistribution of Europe. ... He has 
a long-cherished hatred of Austria (I don't know why), and he 
proposed to me at Pan's that a closer alliance should be formed 
between France, England, and Russia, from which Austria should 
be excluded. I said there was no reason why England and 

VOL. IV. E 



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50 CONCILIATORY ATTITUDE OF RUSSIA. 1857 

France should not be on intimate terms with Russia, but that 
Austria had behaved well in the latter part of the war, and moat 
firmly throughout the negotiations at Paris, and that England 
would be no party to any arrangement which could not be frankly 
avowed to Austria.' 

England was of course sincerely desirous to be on good 
terms with Russia, as well as with every other European Power. 
Bussia had not hitherto shown much disposition to cultivate 
cordial relations with us ; but recently a change to a more 
friendly mood had become visible. The Grand Duke Con- 
stantine had let it be known that he proposed coming to 
England after his visit to Paris, and he had been made 
aware by the Queen, through Lord Cowley, that he would be 
a not unwelcome guest at Osborne, if he were disposed to 
visit Her Majesty there. One of the Grand Duke's objects 
in visiting France and England avowedly was to interest the 
financiers of these countries in the construction of Russian 
railways. What he saw in Paris led him to entertain, how- 
ever, more faith in the resources of England than in those of 
France, and Lord Clarendon was aware, on good authority, 
that in coming to England the Grand Duke hoped to give 
impulse and solidity to Russian railway enterprise, and by 
inducing the English to embark large sums of money in them, 
to make a future war with them as adversaries, as difficult 
as possible* Lord Clarendon hints at this in the same letter 
to the Prince, but it is not uninstructive to observe to what 
influence he chiefly ascribes the altered tone of Russia : — 

' The civility of Russia towards us has not as yet been very 
great, beyond the wish of the Grand Duke to come here, and I 
know that that wish was expressed before he left Nice, if he 
could be sure of a good reception, and he ordered every news- 
paper to be sent to him at Paris from hence in which ihe possi- 
bility of his coming to England was discussed. From the 
moment, however, thai the result of the elections was known at St. 
Petersburg, the change in Russian policy became apparent, and 

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1857 LETTER BY THE PRINCE. 51 

hence respect and deference were shown towards us. The notion of 
the instability of affairs in France is also gaining ground in 
Russia, so that a good many things, besides the Emperor's plot- 
ting, are in operation to prod ace changes, bat I hope that oar - 
unswerving and disinterested coarse of policy may still prevent 
those changes from being mischievous.* 6 

Things were in the position which we have described, when 
the Prince wrote (18th May) the following letter to Baron 
Stockmar : — 

* We are no longer able to go up together into our Obser- 
vatory ; still I must give you the result of my latest astro- 
nomical observations. The path of a long anticipated and 
calculated comet begins to grow more and more clearly 
defined* 

' Great dissatisfaction with us prevails in Paris on account 
of the Principalities,— on account of Italy, — we having 
proposed to France to persuade Sardinia to join with us in a 
declaration, that she had no intention of disturbing the 
territorial boundaries defined by Treaty — on account of 
Naples, as to which we proposed (this was a year ago) 
that France and we, in case of a revolution, should not 
overturn the dynasty, — on account of our press, which can- 
vassed and spoke in no flattering terms of the approximate 
between France and Bussia. 

* In Vienna marked anxiety is felt that France is at work 

• In a letter from M. Guizot to Lord Aberdeen (21st December, 1851), he 
says, in speaking of Louis Napoleon : ' Toute guerre aujourd'hui devient nheee- 
eatrement rhjoluiionnairt, et il n'a plus la faveur dee fauteure dee revolutions. 
Cependant, comrne la situation deviendra difficile, comme il a V esprit chimerique 
et reveur, il ee pourrait bien qtSunjour, pour ^chopper a see embarrae interieurs, 
il rhs&t et eherchdt quelque remaniement territorial qui relevdt ea popularity. 
Peut-itre mhne rtoe-t-il dtfa !* It did not need the lesson of the Emperor's fall 
to teach, that no unjustifiable war ever goes unavenged. Finely was it said 
by Burke — * The blood of man should never be shed but to redeem the blood 
of man. It is well shed for our family, for our friends, for our God, for our 
country, for our kind. The rest is vanity, the rest is crime.' 

x 2 



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52 LETTER BY THE PRINCE. 1857 

in Italy and on the Danube to undermine Austria. The line 
taken both in speech and act throughout Paris towards 
Austria is extremely and avowedly hostile, and this after 
having shown her the greatest consideration. The approxi- 
mation between Bussia and France has hostility to Austria 
for its aim. 

4 The anxiety to flatter Prussia in the Neuchatel affair, 
and to support her through thick and thin, — the visit of 
Prince Napoleon to Berlin in return for that of Fritz Wilhelm, 
before that of the Archduke Max, which was earlier in date, 
was returned in Vienna, excites comment both there and in 
Berlin. Is it that it was thought desirable to make sure of 
Prussia before attacking Austria ? 

c Brunnow is at work to arrange an interview of the 
Emperors Napoleon and Alexander at Berlin ! 

' Bussia has suddenly turned over a new leaf, so far as we 
are concerned, and begins to grow infinitely polite and 
friendly ; she has now encouraged Persia to ratify, 7 keeps in 
the background in the Principalities, proposes to help us in 
China, and is sending the Grand Duke here. Why so sud- 
denly ? Palmerston's majority is, no doubt, to some extent 
the cause, but this of itself is not enough. 

* Have they all come in Paris to the conclusion that our 
friendship is indispensable, just as Prussia's is, and that the 
alliance of these four Powers is the best, with a view to alter- 
ing the territorial status quo at the expense of Austria and 
the Porte ? This is my conviction, and I see a number of small 
confirmations of this conclusion which are not of a kind to put 
upon paper. Turn this idea over. The French were absurdly 
Austrian before the Peace Conferences, and in the midst of 
them they threw Austria over, and turned to Bussia with 
equal ardour ; people say, because of Austria's dislike to take 

1 The Treaty signed at Paris 4th March, and exchanged at Bagdad, 2nd 
May, 1S57. 



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1857 THE COUNT PERSIGNY. 53 

the Principalities for herself, which at that time would have 
been the way to renutniemerti. Possibly so. Now our 
combined action with Austria and the Porte, on the question 
of the Principalities, is the subject of great ill-humour.' 

There were persons about the Emperor of the French, 
who lost no opportunity of increasing the irritation here 
spoken of by the Prince. One loyal and wiser counsellor, 
however, M. de Persigny, seeing mischief imminent, had 
taken the opportunity of a visit to Paris at this time to warn 
the Emperor of the danger he would incur, if he allowed 
himself to be weaned in any degree from the English alliance. 
He had the courage to tell his Imperial master, that all 
the Sovereigns who were flattering and cajoling him for 
their own purposes looked down upon him as an adventurer, 
and had no belief in the stability of his throne or the dura- 
tion of his dynasty ; whereas the English, who never flattered 
or cajoled anybody, but who looked only to the interests of 
England, were attached to the French alliance, and to the 
Sovereign of France, because peaceful relations with that 
country were of the utmost importance to England. France 
was the only country in Europe, that could do harm to 
England, and on the other hand, England was the only 
country that could injure France. The late war with Bussia 
had not had the slightest effect upon France except costing her 
money ; but a war with England would rouse every party in 
France into activity, each with its own peculiar objects, but 
all of them against the existing order of things. Social 
order would be upset, and the Emperor might perish in the 
convulsion. 

This conversation was not without its effect. On his 
return to England, M. de Persigny informed Lord Clarendon 
of what had passed, and stated that it had created an earnest 
desire on the part of the Emperor to come to England on a 

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54 PROPOSAL OF FRENCH EMPEROR 1857 

private visit to the Queen, if possible at Osborne,- to which 
it would be easy to cross over from Cherbourg, Lord 
Clarendon writes to the Prince (20th May) : — 

' M. de Persigny describes the Emperor as being intent upon 
this project, and as attaching the utmost importance to it in 
order to eclairer his own ideas, to guide his policy, and to pre- 
vent by personal communication with the Queen, your Royal 
Highness, and Her Majesty's Government, the dissidences et 
mesintelligences, which the Emperor thinks will arise from the 
want of such communication. I fear that such a visit would 
not be very agreeable to Her Majesty, but in the Emperor's 
present frame of mind, and his evident alarm lest it should be 
thought that the alliance has been in any way SbranUe, I cannot 
entertain a doubt that much good might be done, or at all events 
that much mischief might be averted by the Emperor being 
allowed to pay his respects to Her Majesty in the way he pro- 
poses. 

' I have discussed the matter after the Cabinet this evening 
with Lord Palmerston, who takes entirely the same view of the 
matter as I have taken the liberty of expressing to your Royal 
Highness.' 

Next day the Prince replied from Osborne to Lord Claren- 
don, that he had shown his letter to the Queen, * who wishes 
me to say in answer, that she will of course be ready to do 
what may appear best for the public interest. We shall 
therefore be ready to receive the Emperor, with or without 
the Empress, here at Osborne in the quiet way he proposes.' 
It would be impossible, the Prince adds, to do so until the 
work of the season in London was over. 4 The latter half of 
July, the time at which the Queen would naturally be here, 
and the best yachting season, might appear to the Emperor 
as the most eligible, and the least ford* ... I have no 
doubt,' says the Prince in conclusion, ' that good will arise 
from a renewed intercourse with the Emperor. The only 
thing one perhaps may be afraid of is the possibility of his 
wishing to gain us over to his views with regard to a re- 

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1857 TO VISIT QUEEN AT OSBORNE. 55 

distribution of Europe, and his disappointment at our not 
being able to assent to his plans and aspirations.' 

M. de Persigny was informed by Lord Clarendon of Her 
Majesty's readiness to receive the proposed visit, and a few 
days afterwards (30th May), the Emperor, writing to the 
Queen with congratulations on her birthday, says : * Persigny 
m'a £crit que votre Majesty daignait nous inviter a aller 
passer quelques jours a Osborne in private. Bien ne saurait 
nous gtre plus agreable, car il nous semble qu'il y a deja 
bien longtemps que nous ne nous sommes vus.' 

In returning (3rd June) this letter to the Prince, who had 
sent it for his perusal, Lord Clarendon says, c Lord Cowley 
feels sure that the visit will be very useful, and that the 
friendly warnings which the Emperor will receive are likely 
to make him pause in the realisation of his map-mending 
projects.' 



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5* 



CHAPTER LXXVII. 

Befobe leaving Osborne the Queen received a flying visit 
from the Grand Duke Constantine, who arrived there on the 
30th direct from Cherbourg in Her Majesty's yacht Osborne. 
Lord Palmerston was there to meet him, but nothing oc- 
curred to give political significance to the visit, and the next 
night the Grand Duke left, after having made a cruise with 
Her Majesty to see the fleet at Spithead. 

On the 3rd of June the Court returned to London, where 
it remained till the 9th, when it moved for a few days to 
Windsor. The next day the Prince writes to Baron 
Stockmar : — 

' We came here yesterday for Ascot. The few days we 
were in London I was almost done to death with questions 
and stupid details for the season (all crammed into so short 
a space), for levees, drawing-rooms, the christening, balls and 
concerts, the Crystal Palace festival, 1 the Royal visit to Man- 
chester, the visit of Fritz," of the Archduke, 8 who arrives on 
the 12th, of Uncle Leopold and the children, who come at 
the end of this month or beginning of the next, Bertie's 
Continental tour, &c. 

4 Besides all this, I am worried by the fact of having to 
preside and speak at the Educational Conference on the 22nd. 

1 The first of the great Handel Commemoration Festivals. On the 17th, 
-when the Judas Maccabeus was given by 2,500 artists, the Prince in his Diary 
describes the performance as quite excellent {gam vortrefflich). 

2 Prince Frederick William of Prussia, now Crown Prince of Germany. 
* The Archduke Ferdinand Maximilian Joseph of Austria. 



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i857 THE ARCHDUKE MAXIMILIAN. 57 

1 The subject is a very important, and, with all our poli- 
tical and theological antagonisms, an extremely ticklish one, 
and my address, I regret to say, will be very long. One's 
nervous system, therefore, has something to endure. 

' If, after all, we manage to get to Osborne, we are there 
menaced by an Imperial visit, which at present is a strict 
secret, but which will no doubt come to pass.' 

On the 14th the Archduke Maximilian arrived in 
London. The Prince had not previously met him, but he 
appears to have felt drawn towards him at once. On learning 
the Duke's engagement to the Princess Charlotte of Belgium 
some months before, he had written to tell the Archduke of 
the pleasure with which the Queen and himself had heard of 
the betrothal 4 of their dear Cousin to a young Prince of 
whom we hear nothing but good,' and her alliance with 
whom was one purely of the heart. c May Heaven's blessing,' 
he added, c be upon a connection so happily begun, and in it 
may you both attain life's true happiness, which is only to be 
found in a home where the heart finds satisfaction for its 
wants.' 

There is a painful interest in noting the strongly favour- 
able impression produced upon his hosts by the distinguished 
young Prince, then only twenty-five years old, whose career 
was to come within a few years to a most tragic close, made 
more tragic by the mental wreck of his young and beautiful 
bride by which it was followed. 4 The day after his arrival the 

4 The Archduke Maximilian accepted the Imperial Grown of Mexico, 
-which was offered to him in pursuance of a decision of the Assembly of Notables, 
dated 10th July, 1 863, and by a majority of the Mexican people. He was shot at 
Qneretaro on the 10th of June, 1867, by order of Juarez, the President of the 
revolutionary republic of Mexico. Just before he was shot, the Emperor took 
out his watch, and pressing a spring which concealed a portrait of the Empress, 
he kissed it, and gave it to the Abbe who attended him, saying : * Carry this 
souvenir to Europe to my dear wife; and if she be ever able to understand you, 
say that my eyes closed with the impression of her image, which I shall carry 
with me above.' He had too much reason to think the message might never 



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58 PRINCESS CHARLOTTE OF BELGIUM. 1857 

Prince speaks of him in his Diary as ' very kind and amiable.' 
Two days later the entry is, * We have grown quite attached 
to the Archduke, who is indeed a very distinguished per- 
sonage.' A week later the mention of the Archduke's 
departure is followed by the words : * He was as loth to part 
from us as we were to let him go. We have become great 
friends.' It speaks volumes for the character of the Arch- 
duke, that so severe an observer as the Prince wrote to him 
a few days afterwards : ' You have conquered my sincerest 
friendship, which, resting as it does on a similarity in our modes 
of feeling and thinking, promises to be firmly knit for life by 
the ties of kinship.' Of his bride, who had come on a visit 
to the Queen a few days before, the Prince in the same letter 
says : c Charlotte's whole being seems to me to have been 
warmed and unfolded by the love that is kindled in her 
heart. I have never seen so rapid a development in the 
space of one year. She appears to be happy, to be devoted 
to you with her whole soul, and eager to make herself 
worthy of her future position.' The Princess (born 7th June, 
1840) had not then completed her seventeenth year. 

The Archduke arrived in time to be present at the 
christening of the Princess Beatrice in the private chapel at 
Buckingham Palace, on the 16th of June. In a letter 
written just after the ceremony by the Queen to his future 
father-in-law, we find him spoken of in the warmest 
terms: — 

4 The christening of little Beatrice is just over, and was 

be understood ; for even before this terrible blow fell on her, the mind of the 
Empress Charlotte, highly sensitive and enthusiastic as it was, had been shaken 
by the failure of all the bright anticipations with which the Emperor and her- 
self had gone to Mexico. She had come to Paris some months before the 
Emperor Maximilian's murder, to plead with the French Government for help, 
which was refused. Thence she had gone to Rome ; and in an interview with 
the Pope on the 9th of October, 1866, her insanity became apparent. She 
partially recovered ; but after several relapses, her reason became clouded in 
1669, apparently beyond hope of recovery. 

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1857 ARCHDUKE MAXIMILIAN. 59 

very brilliant and nice. We had the luncheon in the fine 
ball-room, which looked very handsome. The Archduke 
(who has been here since Sunday evening) led me to the 
chapel, and at the luncheon I sat between him and Fritz. 
I cannot say how much we like the Archduke ; he is charm- 
ing, so clever, natural, kind, and amiable, so English in his 
feelings and likings, and so anxious for the best under- 
standing between Austria and England. With the exception 
of his mouth and chin he is good-looking, but I think one 
does not in the least care for that, as he is so very kind, 
clever, and pleasant. I wish you really joy, dearest Uncle, at 
having got such a husband for dear Charlotte, as I am sure 
he is quite worthy of her, and will make her happy. 

c He may and will do a great deal for Italy. The Arch- 
duke speaks much and affectionately of his dear bride. 
When we were at luncheon he said to me, " I hope it is a 
good omen for the future that on this occasion England sits 
between Austria and Prussia [ich hoffe da88 es von guter 
Bedeutwng fur die Zukunft ist 9 doss bei ddeser Gelegenheit 
England zwischen Oeaterreichwnd Preu88en titzC]," in which 
hope I sincerely joinJ 

Interested as Baron Stockmar was sure to be in the future 
happiness of King Leopold's daughter, it must have been 
peculiarly agreeable to the Prince to be able to set his mind 
at rest as to the prospects of the marriage : — 

'We are exceedingly pleased with Archduke Max,' he 
wrote (18th June). 'He is a remarkable young man, very 
Anglomane, with nothing of the bigot about him, and liberal 
in his political views. Charlotte will certainly be happy with 
him.' 

In the same letter the Prince was also able to send news 
which he knew would please his friend, that a marriage was 



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60 PRINCE PRESIDES AT CONFERENCE 1857 

arranged, which the Prince had been entrusted to negotiate, 
between the Princess Stephanie of Hohenzollern and Don 
Pedro, King of Portugal : — 

' I received,' he says, c an answer yesterday from the 
Prince of Hohenzollern, who accepts for his daughter and 
himself. 5 I am greatly delighted at the success of the offer.' 

We shall hereafter have occasion to see how deep was the 
interest felt by the Prince in both the parties to this union, 
and how terribly he was shaken by their early deaths. 

This month was an unusually busy one with the Prince, in 
the numbers of meetings and public ceremonials which he 
had to attend. The opening of the South Kensington 
Museum and the Sheepshanks Gallery on the 20th was to 
him of peculiar interest, as realising one of his most cherished 
ideas. 6 But even more interesting, as it certainly was more 
difficult, was the task which he had undertaken of presiding 
at the first meeting of the Conference on National Education, 
the main object of which was to consider what means could 
be devised to induce the poorer classes to keep their children 

* Charles Anthony, Prince of Hohenzollern, formerly Hohenzollern-Sigma- 
ringen. Sigmaringen was dropped from his title after the cession to Prussia of 
his sovereign rights to that principality, 18th October, 1861. In recognition of 
this cession all the Hohenzollern Princes are recognised as younger members of 
the Prussian House, and the head of the family is styled ' Royal Highness.' His 
eldest son Leopold, whose nomination as King of Spain in 1870 was the ostensible 
cause of the Franco-German War, married (12th Sept. 1861) Antoinette, sister 
of the present King of Portugal ; his second son Charles is now Prince of 
Boumania ; and his second daughter Marie married (25th April, 1867) Prince 
Philippe, Count of Flanders. Prince Hohenzollern, on the fall of the Manteuffel 
Ministry in November 1858, became First Minister of Prussia, haying been 
called to that position by the present Emperor of Germany, soon after his ap- 
pointment as Regent during the illness of his brother the late King of Prussia. 

6 He was much disappointed by the conclusion arrived at in the Report, 
published this month, of the National Gallery Commission in favour of the 
existing Gallery as against a proposal to erect a new Gallery at South Ken- 
sington, where better provision, the Prince thought, could be made for the 
pictures being well preserved, as well as seen, than in the smoky and vitiated 
atmosphere of Trafalgar Square. 



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1857 ON NATIONAL EDUCATION. 61 

at school a sufficient time to give them a chance of real 
education. 

'The political and theological antagonisms,' which the 
Prince referred to in his letter above quoted (p. 57) as 
making the subject ' an extremely ticklish one,' were disposed 
of in his address with the Prince's accustomed fairness. The 
various views of those who favoured State schools, or Volun- 
tary schools, where the instruction should be purely secular, 
or those where religious instruction was the basis of the 
education, were all fairly stated by him. But, he added — 

' If these differences were to have been discussed here to-day, I 
should not have been able to respond to yonr invitation to take 
the chair, as I should have thought it inconsistent with the 
position which I occupy, and with the duty which I owe to the 
Queen and the country at large. I see those here before me, 
who have taken a leading part in these important discussions, 
and I am happy to meet them on a neutral ground ; happy to find 
that there is a neutral ground upon which their varied talents and 
abilities can be brought to bear in communion upon the common 
object ; and proud and grateful to them, that they should have 
allowed me to preside over them for the purpose of working 
together in the common vineyard.' 

He then congratulated his hearers upon the results of 
their rival efforts, by which, while the population had only 
doubled itself since the beginning of the century, the number 
of schools, public and private, had been multiplied fourteen 
times. But against this cheering circumstance some painful 
fects had to be set. Of the 4,908,696 children in England 
and Wales between the ages of three and fifteen, it had been 
ascertained that 2,861,848 received no instruction at all, 
while of the remainder more than a million and a half re- 
mained only two years at school. All extension of the means 
of education, the Prince continued, would be of no avail 
'unless this evil, which lies at the root of the whole question, 
be removed. ... To impress this upon the public mind is 



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62 PRINCE'S SPEECH AT CONFERENCE 1857 

the object of our Conference. Public opinion is the powerful 
lever which in these days moves a people for good and for 
evil, and to public opinion we must therefore appeal if we 
would achieve any lasting and beneficial results.' 

To educate public opinion upon this subject, he pointed 
out, would be no simple measure. The cause of the evil would 
probably be more easily detected than the remedy. Nor pro- 
bably were the causes to be readily overcome. To the lethargy 
and indifference of parents upon the subject much of the 
blame was to be ascribed, but much was also due to several 
economical conditions of an intricate and difficult kind. By 
steadily keeping the subject before them the former might 
be subdued. But, added the Prince, putting his finger with 
his accustomed certainty of touch upon what was then and 
still is the great practical difficulty — 

4 What measures can be brought to bear upon the other root 
of the evil is a more delicate question, and will require the nicest 
care in handling, for there you cut into the very quick of the 
working-man's condition. His children are not only his offspring, 
to be reared for a future independent position, but they consti- 
tute part of his productive power, and work with him for the 
staff of life ; the daughters especially are the handmaids of the 
house, the assistants of the mother, the nurses of the younger 
children, the aged, and the sick. To deprive the labouring family 
of their help would be almost to paralyse its domestic existence. 
On the other hand, carefully collected statistics reveal to us the 
fact, that, while about 600,000 children between the ages of three 
and fifteen are absent from school, but known to be employed, no 
less than 2,200,000 are not at school, whose absence cannot be 
traced to any ascertained employment or other legitimate cause. 9 

The Prince then enforced the duty of awakening parents 
to the sense of what they lost to their children for this world 
and the next, by neglecting to give them that education which 
it was ' not only their most sacred duty, but also their highest 
privilege ' to secure for them. He concluded his address in 

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1857 ON NATIONAL EDUCATION 63 

words rich in that only true eloquence — the eloquence which 
springs from the earnestness of profound conviction : — 

1 Man alone is horn into this world with faculties far nobler 
than the other creatures, reflecting the image of Him who has 
willed that there should be beings on earth to know and worship 
Him, but endowed with the power of self-determination, and 
having reason given them for their guide. Man can develop his 
faculties, place himself in harmony with his Divine prototype, 
and attain that happiness which is offered to him on earth, to be 
completed hereafter in entire union with Him through the mercy 
of Christ. But he can ako leave these faculties unimproved, 
and miss his mission on earth. He will then sink to the level of 
the lower animals, forfeit happiness, and separate from his God, 
whom he did not know how to find. Gentlemen, I say man has no 
right to do this — he has no right to throw off the task which is 
laid upon him for his happiness ; it is his duty to fulfil his mission 
to the utmost of his power ; but it is our duty, the duty of those 
whom Providence has removed from this awful struggle and 
placed beyond this fearful danger, manfully, unceasingly, 
and untiringly to aid by advice, assistance, and example the 
great bulk of the people, who, without such aid, must almost 
inevitably succumb to the difficulty of their task. They will not 
cast from them the aiding hand, and the Almighty will bless the 
labours of those who work in His cause/ 

On the 25 th of this month the title of * Prince Consort' 
was conferred on the Prince by Boyal Letters Patent. The 
reasons for this step are given by the Queen in the following 
letter (23rd of June) to King Leopold : — 

' I wish to tell you of a step which is to be taken, and 
which, I am sure, will meet with your concurrence. You 
know that people call Albert " Prince Consort," but it never 
had been given him as a title, so I intend to confer it on 
him merely by Letters Patent, just as I conferred the prece- 
dence on him in 1840 : you remember how awkward his 
position was in Germany, having none but a foreign title ; 7 

' See upon this subject vol. i. pp. 61-3. 



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64 FIRST DISTRIBUTION OF VICTORIA CROSSES, 1857 

and, besides, I think it is wrong that my husband should not 
have an English title. I should have preferred its being 
done by Act of Parliament, and so it may still be at some 
future period ; but it was thought better upon the whole to 
do it now in this simple way. 1 

A ceremonial of great interest — the first distribution 
of the Victoria Cross — took place in Hyde Park on the 26th 
of this month. The want of a distinctive badge to mark 
heroic deeds in the army and navy had long been felt. So 
numerous had been the instances of exceptional bravery in 
the ranks during the Crimean war, that the time had mani- 
festly come when the common soldier or sailor should be 
enabled to look to some higher recognition than the medal 
which he bore in common with the least distinguished of his 
comrades. Accordingly Her Majesty had issued a Royal 
Warrant in 1856, instituting a new naval and military decora- 
tion, to be designated ' The Victoria Cross,' and inscribed l For 
Valour, 1 which was only to be given to men who had served 
in presence of the enemy, and had performed some signal 
act of valour or devotion to their country. It had taken 
some time to make up the list of those who had entitled 
themselves to this distinction, but it was now ready, and Her 
Majesty resolved to inaugurate the establishment of the 
Order by decorating the heroes with her own hand. Such 
an occasion could not fail to attract an enormous concourse 
of spectators. More than 100,000 people were concentrated 
in the Park, where a vast semicircle of seats, to hold 12,000 
people, had been erected for the more favoured few. On the 
ground were about 4,000 troops. The day was fine to a 
wish ; and the enthusiasm of the people at the highest. All 
eyes were turned to the heroes of the day, 62 in number, who 
were drawn up between the troops and the royal pavilion. 

At 10 a. M. Her Majesty rode into the Park mounted on 

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1857 PRINCE CREATED PRINCE CONSORT. 65 

a favourite grey roan, and dressed in a scarlet jacket, with a 
black skirt, accompanied by the Prince, Prince Frederick 
William of Prussia, and a brilliant suite. Retaining her 
seat on horseback, Her Majesty pinned the cross with her own 
4 honour-giving hand 9 upon the breast of each of the men as 
they were brought up to her one by one, and to each, as he 
withdrew, the Prince bent with a gesture of marked respect. 
4 A magnificent spectacle ! (superber A riblick) ' is the Prince's 
brief record in his Diary, and never was the description more 
truly merited. 

The next day (27th June) the Prince wrote to his friend 
at Coburg: — 

4 Since my last letter I have made my speech at the 
Educational Conference ; you' will perhaps have read it in 
The Times of the 23rd. It has been well received here; 
still I should greatly like to have your judgment upon it, 
which for now nearly nineteen years has always been to me 
most precious on everything that concerns me. 

4 The day before yesterday was the Council, at which the 
Patent for my creation as Prince Consort and the consequent 
change in the Liturgy was authorised. Thus this question is 
settled at last. How the step has been regarded by the 
public I have not yet learned. The Times had a aneeringly 
approving article yesterday, in which the news is announced, 
by way of return for its being the first to have the news 
communicated to itself! . . . 8 

4 The Archduke left us after the Grand Ball of the 24th, 
and, to all appearance, with a heavy heart ! Uncle Leopold 
may congratulate himself on such a son-in-law. 

4 Bertie leaves for Germany on the 6th. We go the day 

* The tone of the article may be judged of by the last sentence : ' In spite of the 
poet there is much in a name, and if there be increased homage rendered to 
the new title on the banks of the Spree or the Danube, the English people 
will be happy to sanction and adopt it.' The English people had adopted it 
years before. 

VOL. IV. I 

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66 LETTER BY BARON STOCK MAR. 1857 

after to-morrow to Manchester for three days, and return on 
the 2nd, when Uncle Leopold with Charlotte and Philip are 
to come to us. 

4 Yesterday was the great Eeview for the distribution of 
the Victoria Crosses.' 

Writing to the Dowager Duchess of Coburg soon after- 
wards the Prince speaks of his new Title, and the reasons for 
it, thus : — 

4 1 have not said a word to you about my change of title, 
and I now present myself before you as an entire stranger, 
" Prince Consort," to wit. The change had become neces- 
sary as our sons grew up, all sorts of confusion having 
already arisen, especially as the name of all the three begins, 
like my own, with an A, and I was certain to appear to 
them in the long run like a stranger in the land, as they 
alone were English princes, and I merely a Coburg prince. 
Now I have a legal status in the English hierarchy. It was 
also a source of weakness for the Crown, that the Queen 
always appeared before the people with her foreign husband.' 

Baron Stockmar's opinion, both on this subject and on the 
Prince's Address to the Educational Conference, was given 
with his usual frankness and sagacity in his reply (1st July) 
to the Prince's letter of the 27th of June : — 

4 1 have read,' he said, 4 your speech at the Educational 
Conference, and it seems to me a success in so far as that, 
dealing with a difficult subject, for the practical solution of 
which no measures could be proposed or set in motion, it 
leaves no branch of the question untouched. The Conference, 
according to my notions, can have no result beyond furnishing 
a sound view of the state of the case, and paving the way 
to its being dealt with hereafter. 

4 In regard to the Prince Consort affair, I am delighted 
that a step has been taken, which in many respects will be 



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x857 QUEEN VISITS MANCHESTER. 67 

attended with beneficial results, were it only for this, that 
the assumption that there is nothing in a name is a purely 
one-sided one. . . .' 

The time had now come for the Queen to make the visit 
to the Art Treasures Exhibition in Manchester, which the 
state of Her Majesty's health, at the time of the Prince's 
visit, had prevented. Accordingly on the afternoon of the 
29th tlie Queen and Prince, together with the Princess 
Boyal, the Princess Alice, and the two eldest Princes, and 
Prince Frederick William of Prussia, left London for Worsley 
Hall, where they were to remain during this visit to Lanca- 
shire. 

By nine o'clock next morning the Koyal visitors were on 
their way to the Exhibition. The morning was dull, with 
occasional showers, but not so heavy as to require the carriages 
to be closed. All Manchester and its neighbourhood crowded 
the streets, through which the cortege passed at a foot's pace. 
Upwards of a million people were computed to have been as- 
sembled. 4 The crowd,' says the Queen's Diary, * was enormous, 
greater than ever witnessed before, and enthusiastic beyond 
belief — nothing but kind and friendly faces. The streets 
beautifully decorated with flowers and flags and drapery and 
long banners, and with so much taste — more like French 
decorations. Many Prussian flags, and endless kind and 
appropriate inscriptions, triumphal arches, &c. So much 
affection towards my darling Albert, so many kind allusions 
to Fritz and Vicky, united with us. One inscription bore : 
" Albert the Patron of Art and Promoter of Peace." My 
beloved Albert is most popular here. Sir H. Smith, and 
Colonel Hodge of the 4th Dragoons (greatly distinguished in 
the Heavy Cavalry charge [at Balaclava]), rode on either 
side.' 

Soon after eleven the Exhibition building was reached. 

f2 



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68 QUEEN VISITS MANCHESTER. 1857 

It was filled with a brilliant multitude. On a dais raised 
for the occasion the Queen received and replied to addresses 
from the Executive Committee, and from the corporations 
of Manchester and Salford, and knighted the Mayor of 
Manchester, as the record already quoted bears, * with Sir H. 
Smith's sword, which had been in four general actions.' 
After this came the inspection of the picture-galleries. 
After a full mention of the old masters, * we were delighted,' 
says the Diary, 'with the modern school, Sir Joshua 
Reynolds, Copley, Gainsborough, Lawrence, Landseer, 
Leslie, Maclise, Cope, Herbert, &c. Copley is Lord Lynd- 
hurst's father; and the picture, a very large one, of the 
" Defence of St. Helier's " is his. Very fine. Lord Lyndhurst 
mentioned it to me, asking me to look at it, and I was told he 
shed tears when it left his house. Returned as we came, with 
much rain — everything wet, but all the people out.' 

Next morning was devoted by the Queen and Prince and 
their suite to a long examination of the contents of the 
Exhibition, which was not opened to the public until two 
o'clock in the afternoon, when the Queen left it to return 
to Worsley Hall, taking the Peel Park on the way, to see 
the recently erected statue of herself. Meanwhile the 
Prince, with his two eldest sons and Prince Frederick 
Wilhelm, went to the Manchester Town Hall, where an 
Address from the Corporation was presented to the Prussian 
Prince, to which he made a reply. Visits were then paid to 
Mr. Mackintosh's great india-rubber manufactory, and to 
several other large works, so that it was seven o'clock before 
Worsley Hall was reached. ' All,' says the Queen's Diary, 
4 had gone off very well. Fritz read well, and was much 
applauded. Albert very tired, and not quite well.' 

The Royal visitors left Worsley Hull for London next 
morning, and reached Buckingham Palace by 3 p.m., in 
time to enable the Prince to go to meet King Leopold and 

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1857 • LETTER BY M. DE TOCQUEVILLE. 69 

his family at the railway station, and also to preside at a 
meeting of the Boyal Fine Arts Commission. A great concert 
of Italian music given by the Queen completed the incidents 
of a busy and fatiguing day. 

Before leaving town for Manchester the Prince had had a 
full and interesting interview with M. de Tocqueville, of 
whose writings he had long been an admirer, and to whose 
fine work, L'Ancien Regime et la Revolution, then recently 
published, we have seen (ante, vol. iii. p. 505) he attached 
the highest value. Two days afterwards he received from 
Lord Clarendon a copy of the following passage in a letter 
which M. de Tocqueville had written immediately after the 
interview to Lord Clarendon's sister, Lady Theresa Lewis : — 

1 Je rouvre ma lettre pour vous dire que je viens de voir le 
Prince Albert, et qae je sais enchante da resultat de cette visite. 
Je ne saurais vous dire (surtout dans an postscriptum) combien 
j'ai et6 frapp£ et charm6 de la justesse de son esprit. J'ai rare- 
men t rencontr6 an homme aassi distingue, et n'ai jamais 
approche d'an Priuce qui m'a parti, a tout prendre, aussi re- 
marquable, et j'ai pu lui dire sans flatterie, en le quittant, que 
parmi toutes les choses dignes de souvenir que je venais de voir 
en Angleterre, celle qui m'avait le plus frapp6 etait la conver- 
sation que nous venions d'avoir. 

* Vous 6tes heureux - de trouver un tel homme si pres du 
tr6ne. 

(Signe) 'De Tocqueville. 

• 29 Juin, 1857/ 

The Prince was obviously deeply gratified by the praises 
of a man who had himself established so great a reputation. 
It is not often that we find in his papers any reference to 
the panegyrics with which he must by this time have become 
familiar, but he considered that of the French philosophical 
politician worth the following entry in his Diary : * M. de 
Tocqueville writes to Lady Theresa Lewis a very high pane- 



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70 LETTER BY THE PRINCE. 1857 

gyric upon me \_ein grosstes Lob iiber micK\? As Baron 
Stockmar had been the Prince's tutor in political science, 
there was a special reason in the identity of the Baron's 
views and principles with those of the eminent Frenchman, 
why this panegyric should be no less gratifying to the Baron 
than to the Prince himself. 

* 1 have made the acquaintance of Tocqueville,' he wrote, 
26th of July, to the Baron, 6 and had a long conversation 
with him, with which we were both greatly pleased. He has 
expressed himself in such friendly terms about me to Lady 
Theresa Lewis, that I send you a copy of the passage which 
the Queen has made, feeling sure that it will give you 
pleasure, as I maintained your views and principles, which 
have become my own. 

6 The Prince -of Hohenzollern has been here for the last 
four days, and we are much pleased with him. Now the 
mystery is out, 9 the diplomatists are furious that they had no 
scent of it. 

4 Our reception in Manchester was enthusiastic beyond 
belief. It was truly touching ; and Fritz was also received 
with great affection. He is to receive the freedom of the 
City on the 13th in Guildhall, and must leave us for 
Germany on the 14th. 

6 Bertie set out to-day at noon for Konigswinter — he will 
take a week to get there. Of the young people only Lord 
Derby's son will go with him in the first instance ; Wood, 
Cadogan, and Gladstone will follow.' 

The visit of the Prince of Wales to Konigswinter was for 

• Of the marriage which had been arranged between the King of Portugal 
and the Princess Stephanie, daughter of the Prince of Hohenzollern and his 
wife Josephine, a Princess of the Grand-Ducal House of Baden, and a cousin 
of the Empress Josephine. The Grand Duchess Stephanie of Baden was a 
niece of the Empress Josephine's first husband, and an adopted daughter of 
the Emperor Napoleon I. 



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i8$7 THE PRINCE OF WALES. 71 

the purposes of study. Besides the young companions re- 
ferred to by the Prince, he had with him General Grey, 
Colonel (now General) H. Ponsonby, his domestic tutor, Mr. 
Gibbs, his classical tutor, the Rev. Charles Tarver 10 (now one 
of the Canons of Chester), and Dr. Armstrong. During the 
Prince's stay at Konigswinter Mr. W. Gladstone, Mr. C. Wood 
(son of Lord Halifax), the present Lord Cadogan, and Mr. 
Frederick (now Colonel) Stanley, son of the late Lord Derby, 
and now Minister at War, were with him as companions. 

1# In 1858, when Mr. Gibbe retired, Mr. Tarver was appointed his Director 
of Studies and Chaplain, in which capacity he accompanied the Prince to 
Some, Spain, And Portugal, and then went with him to Edinburgh, remaining 
with the Prince till the autumn of 1859, when his education ceased to be 
conducted at home. 



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72 



CHAFFER LXXVIII. 

In distributing the Victoria Cross on the 26th of June, there 
must have been present to the mind of the Queen not only 
what had been so lately done by the brave soldiers, so well 
represented by the heroes of that brilliant scene, but also 
what they and their comrades might soon be called upon to 
do in the cause of their country. For some time the tidings 
from India had indicated the existence of a spirit of dis- 
affection among the native troops, which there were strong 
grounds to believe was due to an organised plan for sapping 
their allegiance. Several regiments had been disbanded, but 
the feeling continued to spread to an extent which could not 
be regarded otherwise than with alarm. Towards the end of 
June this alarm turned out to have been only too well 
grounded ; and when the tidings arrived in England of the 
mutiny of the native regiments at Meerut on the 10th of 
May, and of the massacre by them of numbers of English 
officers, women and children, followed by the retreat of the 
mutineers to Delhi, and the spread of the mutiny among the 
troops there, it was felt that a crisis had come which de- 
manded immediate help from this country. 

On the 28th of June Lord Panmure wrote to the Queen 
that the Cabinet, after anxious deliberation, had sanctioned 
his giving instructions to the Commander-in-Chief to hold 
four regiments in readiness to embark for India in addition 
to those already under orders. He reported that Lord 
Canning had drawn upon Ceylon for a regiment, — but as an 



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1 857 THE INDIAN MUTINY. 73 

additional regiment had been ordered to be stationed there 
as a reserve for China, that island would not be denuded of 
troops. The regiments which had been despatched to China 
were also, he said, destined for India, when their work was 
over in China. Thus twelve regiments of 1,000 each, and 
about 4,500 recruits for the regiments then in India, would 
be added to the force there. The Court of Directors, he 
added, were to issue orders to officers on leave to rejoin 
immediately, and the Commander-in-Chief proposed to take 
the same course with Her Majesty's officers. 

' The crisis/ he added, ' is one of great anxiety, and painful from 
the reflection of the severe examples which will be required when 
the mutiny is quelled. Lord Panmure trusts that this opportu- 
nity will be taken advantage of to employ in India a larger 
proportion of your Majesty's troops than have hitherto been 
stationed there, which may be easily done without pressing on 
the finances of the Company.* 

To this letter, which reached Her Majesty as she was on 
the point of starting for Manchester (29th June) the follow- 
ing reply was sent, before she left London : — 

'The Queen has to acknowledge the receipt of Lord 
Panmure's letter of yesterday. She had long been of opinion 
that reinforcements waiting to go to India should not be 
delayed. The moment is certainly a very critical one, and 
the additional reinforcements now proposed will be much 
wanted. The Queen entirely agrees with Lord Panmure, 
that it will be good policy to oblige the East India Company 
to keep permanently a larger portion of the fioyal army in 
India than heretofore. The Empire has nearly doubled 
itself within the last twenty years, and the Queen's troops 
have been kept at the old establishment. They are the body 
on whom the maintenance of that Empire mainly depends, 
and the Company ought not to sacrifice the highest interests 
to love of patronage. 

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74 LETTER BY THE QUEEN. 1857 

'The Queen hopes that the new reinforcements will be 
sent out in their brigade organisation, and not as detached 
regiments. Good commanding officers knowing their troops 
will be of the highest importance next to the troops them- 
selves. 

4 The Queen must ask that the troops by whom we shall 
be diminished at home by transfer of so many regiments to 
the Company should be forthwith replaced by an increase of 
the establishment up to the number voted by Parliament, and 
for which the Estimates have been taken, else we denude 
ourselves altogether to a degree dangerous to our own safety 
at home, and incapable of meeting a sudden emergency, 
which, as the present example shows, may come upon us at 
any moment. If we had not reduced in such a hurry this 
spring, we should now have all the men wanted ! 

'The Queen wishes Lord Panmure to communicate this 
letter to Lord Palmerston. The accounts in to-day's papers 
from India are most distressing.' 

The same evening Lord Ellenborough, who had three, 
weeks before brought the unsatisfactory state of the native 
army in India before the House of Lords, again raised the 
question, urging on the Government the necessity of in- 
stantly sending out very large reinforcements, and at the 
same time embodying the militia and calling out the yeo- 
manry, so as to make things secure at home. The same 
evening the Ministry were closely pressed in the House of 
Commons by Mr. Disraeli as to the measures taken to meet & 
state of circumstances so grave that it seemed to place our 
hold upon India in peril. Lord Granville, in one House, and 
Mr. Vernon Smith (Secretary of the Board of Control), in 
the other, explained that by the middle of July 10,000 men 
(7,000 of the Queen's army, and 2,500 of the East India 
Company's recruits; would have sailed for India, and that four 



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1857 SPREAD OF INDIAN MUTINY. 75 

more of the Queen's regiments, making up the reinforce- 
ments to 14,000, would immediately be sent out. 

Somewhat rashly, as events very quickly proved, these 
statements were accompanied by assurances of disbelief in 
the existence of any serious danger. For, before the lapse of 
many days, the telegraph flashed intelligence, which made it 
impossible longer to entertain this opinion. On the 11th of 
July the Government learned that the mutiny was all but 
universal in Bengal, and that within the four weeks preceding 
the date of the despatch nearly 30,000 men had disappeared 
from the army in the north of India. Delhi still remained 
in the possession of the mutineers, and although they had 
been driven with considerable loss into the city, they con- 
tinued to make a desperate resistance there. The city, the 
telegram stated, was to be assaulted immediately ; but, as its 
fortifications were about seven miles in circumference and 
included an area of three square miles, it was hard for people 
in England to believe that they could be carried by the 
scanty forces into whose hands the formidable task of attack- 
ing the rebels in their stronghold had been trusted. In fact, 
the city was not taken until the 20th of September, and 
then only after heavy losses, and a display of splendid 
heroism on the part of the besiegers. 

The same telegram announced the death, by cholera, of 
the Commander-in-Chief for India, General Anson, at 
Kournal on the 27th of June. 

The Government was now thoroughly alarmed ; and from 
one end of the country to the other the feeling was general, 
that no effort was too great to meet a crisis in which the 
lives of so many English men and women were at stake, and, 
indeed, the position of the British Empire itself before the 
world was in peril. England had yet to learn the appalling 
horrors of massacre and torture and mutilation, by which the 
insurgents had already stigmatised with eternal infamy their 

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76 SIX COLIN CAMPBELL. 1857 

temporary successes ; but those of her sons who knew India 
best, — and there were few families of the middle classes who 
had not had relations with the country, — dreaded to think 
of what might happen, should the mutiny once gain a head 
over the scanty British forces. 

On the 11th of July Lord Palmerston wrote to the Queen 
that, in consequence of the bad news received that morning, 
the Cabinet had requested the assistance of the Commander- 
in-Chief, and that the first, measure which they had to submit 
to Her Majesty was that Sir Colin Campbell should be at 
once sent out to India to take the vacant place of Com- 
mander-in-Chief. Sir Colin had said he would be ready to 
start the next evening. 1 

'He says/ added Lord Palmerston, 'that he can get at 
Calcutta everything that he may want for outfit. It is also pro- 
posed that General Mansfield, now at Warsaw, 8 whom Sir Colin 

1 This letter was written on a Saturday : Sir Colin started on Sunday even- 
ing. Next day, the House of Commous heard the story from Lord Palmerston 
with a thrill of admiration, which was- the forerunner of what the whole coun- 
try felt. ' Upon being asked/ said Lord Palmerston, * when he would be able 
to start, the gallant officei, with his ordinary promptitude, replied, " To-mor- 
row! n and accordingly, the offer having been made on Saturday, he was off by 
the train next evening.' This was not the first time the same spirit of prompt 
action had been shown, in ' our rough island story/ When Jervis, afterwards 
Earl St. Vincent,, was asked when he would be ready to join his ship, 
* Directly ! ' was his answer. 

* Where he had been sent as Consul-General at the conclusion of the 
Crimean War. During the campaigns in India in 1851-62, General Mansfield 
had been attached to the staff of Sir Colin Campbell, who commanded the 
forces there. To the high qualities which he had then shown as an officer 
and administrator, his nomination by his old commander as the head of his 
staff in the present crisis was due. His distinguished services in that capacity 
elicited the enthusiastic approval of his chief. In April 1859, he received the 
special thanks of Parliament, and at the close of the mutiny, General, then 
Sir William, Mansfield held a position in public esteem only second to that of 
Sir Colin Campbell himself. In 1865 he received the appointment of Com- 
mander-in-Chief in India, which he held for the usual term of five yean. In 
1870 he was raised to the peerage as Lord Sandhurst. The fatigues of an 
active life had told upon his constitution, and he died (23rd June, 1876) of 
congestion of the lungs at the early age of 57. 



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i8$7 REINFORCEMENTS FOR INDIA. 77 

wishes to have as chief of his staff, should be brought home and 
sent after him. Viscount Palmerston is of opinion- that an 
additional force of your Majesty's troops beyond the 14,000 now 
under orders should be sent out as soon as possible, to guard 
against the dangers which might arise from the desertion of the 
80,000 Bengalees, followed as that will probably have been by 
the desertion or mutiny of a still larger number. 9 

The next few days were busy ones with the Prince. On 
the 13th he opened the admirable Schools at Ashford of the 
Society of Ancient Britons. The same day the Freedom of 
the City was presented to Prince Frederick William at the 
Mansion House, where, the Prince notes with satisfaction, his 
future son-in-law ' had an excellent reception, and his speech 
met with great approval.' Next day the young Prince re- 
turned to Germany. The three following days were occupied 
with the ceremonial which the Prince Consort had to go 
through of taking the oaths as Master of the Trinity House, 
with the departure of the King of the Belgians and his 
family, with seeing the Queen of Holland, and with field 
manoeuvres at Aldershot, where the Queen spent the 17 th 
and part of the 18th, and was present on horseback at the 
manoeuvres of the troops. On the afternoon of the 18th the 
Queen and Prince reached Osborne. 

In the meantime, the thoughts of both had been absorbed 
in the all-important question, bow the rebellion was to be 
crushed, which it was now too plain was likely to menace our 
Indian Empire. Since the 11th tidings of further disaster 
had been received, and the Ministry seemed, not only to the 
Queen, but to the Commander-in-Chief, to under-estimate 
the danger, or, at all events, not to be taking military pre- 
cautions adequate to the emergency. Accordingly, before 
leaving town on the 17th, the Queen had expressed her views 
to this effect, briefly, in a letter to Lord Palmerston, which 
drew from him the following characteristic answer : — 

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78 QUEEN CORRESPONDS WITH PREMIER 1857 

' Piccadilly, 18th July, 1857. 

'Viscount Palmerston presents his humble duty to your 
Majesty, and has had the honour to receive your Majesty's com- 
munication of yesterday, stating what your Majesty would have 
said if your Majesty had been in the House of Commons. 

4 Viscount Palmerston may perhaps be permitted to take the 
liberty of saying, that it is fortunate for those from whose opinions 
your Majesty differs that your Majesty is not in the House of 
Commons, for thoy would have had to encounter a formidable 
antagonist in argument ; although, on the other hand, those whose 
opinions your Majesty approves would have had the support of a 
powerful ally in debate. 

* But with regard to the arrangements in connection with the 
state of affairs in India, Viscount Palmerston can assure your 
Majesty that the Government are taking and will not fail to con- 
tinue to take every measure which may appear well adapted to 
the emergency, but measures are sometimes best calculated to 
succeed, which follow each other step by step.' 

The Queen, however, was not persuaded that a c step by 
step ' policy was the one fitted for a struggle which had so 
swiftly assumed such gigantic proportions, and she considered 
it her duty to place her convictions on this point fully before 
the Government. With this view, the first quiet hours in 
Osborne were devoted to the preparation of the following 
letter to Lord Palmerston : — 

< Osborne, 19th July, 1857. 
'The Queen is anxious to impress in the most earnest 
manner upon her Government the necessity of our taking a 
comprehensive view of our military position at the present 
momentous crisis, instead of going on without a plan, living 
from hand to mouth, and taking small isolated measures 
without reference to each other. Contrary to the Queen's 
hopes and expectation, immediately after the late war the 
army was cut down to a state even belovj the Peace Establish* 



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JSS7 AS TO REINFORCEMENTS FOR INDIA. 79 

ment recognised by the Government and Parliament in their 
own estimates, to meet the Parliamentary pressure for eco- 
nomy, and this in spite of the fearful lesson just taught by 
the late war, and with two wars on hand, one with Persia and 
the other with China I Out of this miserably reduced Peace 
Establishment, already drawn upon for the service in China, we 
are now to meet the exigencies of the Indian crisis, and the 
Government, as it always has done on such occasions, has up 
to this time contented itself with sending out the few regi- 
ments left at home, putting off the day for reorganising its 
forces. 

' When the regiments ordered out shall have gone, we shall 
be left with 18 battalions out of 105, of which the army is 
composed, to meet all home duty, to protect our own shores, 
to act as the reserves and reliefs for the regiments abroad, 
and to meet all possible emergencies I The regiments in 
India are allowed one company, raised, by the last decision of 
the Cabinet, to 100 men as their depot and reserve I 

6 A serious contemplation of such a state of things must 
strike everybody with the conviction, that some comprehen- 
sive and immediate measure must be taken by the Govern- 
ment — its principle settled by the Cabinet, and its details 
left to the unfettered execution of the military authorities ; 
instead of which the Cabinet have as yet agreed only upon 
recruiting certain battalions up to a certain strength, to get 
back some of the men recently discharged, and have measured 
the extent of their plans by a probable estimate of the 
amount of recruits to be obtained in a given time, declaring 
at the same time to Parliament that the militia will not be 
called out, which would probably have given the force 
required. 

' The Commander-in-Chief has laid a plan before the 
Government which the Queen thinks upon the whole very 
moderate, inexpensive, and efficient. 

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8o LETTER BY THE QUEEN, 1857 

4 The principle which the Queen thinks ought to be 
adopted is this : That the force which has been absorbed by 
the Indian demand be replaced to its full extent and in the 
same kind, not whole battalions by a mere handful of recruits 
added to the remaining ones. This will not only cost the 
Government nothing, because the East India Company will 
pay the battalions transferred, and the money voted for them 
by Parliament will be applicable to the new ones, but it will 
give a considerable saving, as all the officers reduced from 
the War Establishment, and receiving half-pay, will be thus 
absorbed, and no longer be a burden upon the Exchequer. 
Keeping these new battalions on a low establishment, which 
will naturally be the case at first, the depots and reserves 
should be raised in men, the Indian depots keeping at least 
two companies of 100 men each. [The Crimean battalions 
of eight companies had eight others in reserve, which, with 
the aid of the militiamen, could not keep up the strength of 
the Service companies. In India there are eleven to be kept 
up by one in reserve !] 

4 No possible objection can be urged against this plan 
except two. 

' (1) That we shall not get the men. This is an hypothesis 
and not an argument. Try and you will see. If you do not 
succeed, and the measure is necessary, you will have to 
adopt means to make it succeed. If you conjure up the 
difficulties yourself, you cannot of course succeed. 

* (2) That the East India Company will demur to keeping 
permanently so large an addition to the Queen's army in 
India. The Company is empowered, it is true, to refuse to 
take any Queen's troops whom it has not asked for, and to 
send back any it may no longer want. But the Company 
has asked for the troops now sent at great inconvenience to 
the Home Government, and the commonest foresight will 
show that for at least three years to come this force cannot 

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1&S7 TO LORD PALMERSTON. 81 

possibly be dispensed with — if at all. Should the time, 
however, arrive, the Government will simply have to reduce 
the additional battalions, and the officers will return to the 
half-pay list from which they were taken, the country having 
had the advantage of the saving in the meantime. 

4 But the Queen thinks it next to impossible that the 
European force could again be decreased in India. After 
the present fearful experience, the Company could only 
send back Queen's regiments, in order to raise new European 
ones of their own. This they cannot do without the Queen's 
sanction, and she must at once make her most solemn pro- 
test against such a measure. It would be dangerous and 
unconstitutional to allow private individuals to raise an 
army of Queen's subjects larger than her own in any part of 
the British dominions. The force would be inferior to one 
continually renewed from the mother country, and would 
form no link in the general military system of England all 
over the globe, of which the largest force will always be in 
India. The raising of new troops for the Company in Eng- 
land would most materially interfere with the recruiting of 
the Queen's army, which meets already with such great diffi- 
culties. The Company could not complain, that it was put 
to expense by the Home Government in having to keep so 
many more Queen's regiments ; for as it cannot be so insane 
as to wish to re-form the old Bengal army of Sepoys, for 
every two of these regiments now disbanded and one of the 
Queen's substituted, it would save 4,000£. (a regiment of 
Sepoys costing 27,00(M. and a Queen's regiment 50,00(M.) 
The ten battalions to be transferred to the Company for 
twenty Sepoy regiments disbanded would therefore save 
40,000Z., instead of costing anything; but in reality the 
saving to the Company would be greater, because the half- 
pay and superannuation of the officers, and therefore the 
whole dead weight, would fall upon the mother country. 

VOL. IV. G 

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82 LETTER BY LORD CANNING 1857 

The only motive, therefore, which could actuate the Com- 
pany would be a palpable love of power and patronage, to 
which the most sacred interests of the country ought not to 
be sacrificed. 

' The present position of the Queen's army is a pitiable 
one. The Queen has just seen, in the camp at Aldershot, 
regiments, which, after eighteen years' foreign service in 
most trying climates, had come back to England to be sent 
out after seven months to the Crimea. Having passed 
through this destructive campaign, they have not been home 
for a year before they are to go to India for perhaps twenty 
years 1 This is most cruel and unfair to the gallant men 
who devote their services to the country, and the Govern- 
ment is in duty and humanity bound to alleviate their 
position.* 

' The Queen wishes Lord Palmerston to communicate this 
memorandum to the Cabinet.' 

A letter of Lord Canning's to the Queen, written from 
Calcutta on the 4th of July, which was at this moment on 
its way to England, shows how justly the Queen and Prince 
had appreciated the state of affairs in India, and the necessity 
of meeting it by the despatch of a force sufficiently large to 
overawe the populations of the disturbed districts, and to 
repair the shock which had been given in many quarters to 
the belief in British power. After speaking of the delay in 
reducing Delhi, Lord Canning says : — 

* Speaking at the Trinity House in the following year (3rd July, 185S) with 
reference to the small force of British troops by which so much had been 
accomplished in quelling the insurrection in India, the Prince pursues the 
same line of thought 'The deepest responsibility/ he said, 'attaches to us, 
not to rest satisfied with the enjoyment of the advantages and successes ob- 
tained by such self-sacrificing devotion, but to take care that, by maintaining 
these noble services [the Army and Navy] in sufficient numbers, the tasks 
which for our benefit may be from time to time imposed upon them, should 
not carry with them the almost certain immolation of those who are expected to 
perform them.' 



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1857 TO THE QUEEN. 83 

' The time which has elapsed has cost England and India very 
dear. Many precious lives have been lost, and much heart-rend- 
ing suffering has been endured, for which there can be no com- 
pensation. The reputation of England's power, too, has had a 
rude shake ; and nothing but a long-continued manifestation of her 
might before the eyes of the whole Indian Empire, evinced by the 
presence of such an English force as shall make the thought of oppo- 
sition hopeless, will re-establish confidence in her strength, 

• Lord Canning much fears that there are parts of India where, 
until this is done, a complete return to peace and order will not 
be effected. Wherever the little band of English soldiers — little 
compared with the stretch of country over which they have to 
operate— which Lord Canning has had at his disposal, has shown 
itself the effect has been instantaneous. Except at Delhi, there- 
has scarcely been an attempt at resistance to an European sol- 
dier, and the march of the smallest detachments has preserved 
order right and left of the roads. The same has been the case 
in large cities, such as Benares, Patna, and others ; all going to 
prove, that little more than the presence of English troops is 
needed to ensure peace. On the other hand, when such troops 
are known not to be within reach, anarchy and violence, when 
once let loose, continue unrestrained, and, until further additions 
are made to the English regiments in the disturbed districts, this 
state of things will not only continue, but extend itself.' 

In the same letter Lord Canning announces the arrival 
that day in the Hooghly of the first of the English regi- 
ments which had been destined for China, but which at his 
request Lord Elgin had directed to be turned aside to India. 4 
* From what Lord Canning has ventured to state above,' he 
adds, 'your Majesty will easily understand the satisfaction 
with which each new arrival of an English transport in 
Calcutta is regarded by him.' 

4 * TeU Lord Elgin/ wrote Sir William Peel, the heroic leader of the cele- 
brated Naval Brigade, after the neck of the rebellion waa broken, ' that it was 
the Chinese Expedition that relieved Lncknow, relieved Cawnpore, and fought 
the battle of the 6th of December/ — Walrond's Letters and Journals of Lord 
Elgin, p. 188. 

o 2 



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84 LETTER BY THE PRINCE. 1857 

The arguments in Her Majesty's letter of the 19th to Lord 
Palmerston were apparently found too cogent to be resisted, 
for on the 22nd the Prince records in his Diary, ' The Cabinet 
has at last adopted our suggestions for an increase of the 
Army.' Their decision was still in suspense when he wrote 
(20th July) the following letter to Baron Stockmar: — 

4 To-day I will do no more than say that we have reached 
our haven of repose in Osborne, 5 and are still alive. The 
very last day we were in London we had to fSte the Queen 
of Holland. She was friendly and inclined to like England. 
We did not come to closer quarters. On the other hand, a 
more intimate relation by necessity of circumstances has 
been established with the Prince of Hohenzollern. Uncle 
Leopold has gone to Manchester, and thence, two days ago, 
direct to Brussels. We were two days at the Camp, when 
a great many manoeuvres were executed. Very soon we 
shall be entirely without troops, India now absorbs so many. 

•It is very well that it has come to this outbreak in 
India, as it shows the sore places which the Company were 
constantly trying to smear over and conceal. The Times 
and the press generally were constantly lavishing nothing 
but laudation on the Indian and abuse on the Imperial 
army. . . . Now the bubble has burst. Our Ministry 
is, however, by no means up to the mark, as little as it 
was in the last war ? and after that experience, still more 
to blame. 

4 ... I mean to embark for Antwerp next Sunday, in 
order to be present next morning at Charlotte's marriage, 
returning the same evening. I may perhaps see my brother 
there.' 

* Writing the same day to his stepmother the Prince says, — 'We made our 
escape two days ago to this place, which is meant for a haven of rest, but is 
now selected by all sorts of exalted personages as the place to pay lis visits — 
a total bouleversemtnt of its original purpose.' 



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1857 LETTER TO PRINCE OF PRUSSIA. 85 

Before starting on his flying visit to the marriage of the 
Archduke Maximilian at Brussels on the 27th, the Prince 
wrote to the Prince of Prussia the following interesting 
letter. It will be seen from a few words near its close that, 
gravely as the crisis in India was regarded by the Queen and 
himself, he never doubted that England would come tri- 
umphantly out of the struggle — nay, that, like Hotspur, she 
would even 'out of this nettle danger pluck the flower 
safety ' for the future : — 

'My dear Cousin, — Accept my sincere thanks for your 
welcome letter of the 17th. We are delighted to hear that 
Fritz has gone back 60 well satisfied with his official sejour 
in England. It will have convinced him that the country 
regards with the greatest pleasure the connection which he 
has formed with our family; that it does every justice to 
himself personally, and looks upon him both as man and as 
Prince of Prussia with a kindly feeling. Of all this we were 
well aware, but it could not be otherwise than gratifying to 
us to see it made clear to the whole world and recognised by 
himself. On his side he has produced a most favourable 
impression by his appearances in public here. 

4 As you refer in your letter to the Indian complications, I 
think it well to communicate to you my views upon the 
subject. I believe that people on the Continent do not 
correctly appreciate the position of things in India, and the 
principle upon which our supremacy over that part of the 
world is founded. 

4 The Indians are not a people capable of conquering inde- 
pendence for themselves, to say nothing of maintaining it. 
Since the days of Bacchus and Nimrod India has constantly 
been overrun and conquered by new races, — the Assyrians 
and Persians, the Greeks under Alexander, the Hiungnu, 
Tartars, Arabians, and others, down to the most recent times. 

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86 LETTER BY THE PRINCE CONSORT 1857 

The conquerors have brought under the yoke and oppressed 
the races whom they found in possession, but have neither 
rooted them out nor absorbed them ; thus they remain 
intermingled, but without national coherence. 

4 The religious gulf betwirt the Hindoos and the Moham- 
medans makes amalgamation impossible. Among the Hindoos 
themselves the attachment to caste makes anything like in- 
ternal unity among the population no less impossible. Our 
supremacy rests purely upon the circumstance that we protect 
the different races and populations against mutual ill-usage, 
that we place the poorest and meanest upon the same level 
before the law as the most powerful, and ensure justice with 
unimpeachable fairness and the greatest facility to every one 
in all parts of the country, while at the same time we do not 
intermeddle in any of the internal affairs, civil or spiritual, 
of the different populations. Oppression is out of the question. 
Import duties are not levied. The Salt Monopoly was the 
only tax which weighed upon the Indians, and this has been 
abolished. The Company derives its revenues from the 
domains of former great proprietary chiefs, from Customs 
duties, and from commercial enterprise. 

4 For the country and its civilisation almost nothing has 
been done up to this time, yet the people bless the protecto- 
rate under which they live, after the hideous sufferings which 
their former rulers compelled them to undergo; and it 
remains to this hour an open question, how far, with their 
peculiar religions and customs, civilisation upon European 
principles is possible or practicable among them. 

4 Of late this negative system has been to some extent 
departed from. Canals and railways have been begun, schools 
founded, the burning of widows has been forbidden, and their 
re-marriage legalised, the temple of Juggernauth with its 
horrible service has been closed, and the maintenance of 
idols discontinued, &c. 

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i857 TO THE PRINCE OF PRUSSIA. Z7 

' These measures have been taken by the Hindoos as proofs 
that England means to suppress their religion, and to put 
Christianity in its place. 

' The new cartridges for the Mini6 rifles, which are dipped 
in grease that they may slip more easily into their places, 
have brought matters to a head ; for in this the troops fancied 
they saw a purpose of making them lose their caste, which 
would inevitably follow from introducing either grease or 
flesh into their mouths. 

'Of the Indian armies — those of Bengal, Madras, and 
Bombay — the first belongs to the highest caste. In a single 
battalion there are frequently as many as 400 Brahmins 
(priests). The loss of caste is political and social death, like 
the ban of the Pope or of the German Empire in our middle 
ages. We cannot, therefore, be surprised at the mutiny of 
the Bengal army, which attracted to itself all who were 
ill-disposed to the Government. At the same time, the fact 
that the people have nowhere taken part in it, shows how 
satisfied they are with the English rule. 

4 The conflict will undoubtedly be severe and bloody, as 
the few well-organised European troops are scattered and 
divided over the whole country, and will have to be led 
against overwhelming numbers of those very troops whom 
England has for quite a century been teaching discipline, 
and which, being as they are the garrisons of the great cities, 
are now in possession of our chief arsenals and fortresses. 
Where we have the advantage is, the want of all superior 
officers in the Sepoy regiments ; and what causes a thrill of 
horror is the thought of having to fire at our own uniform, 
of the acts of vengeance of the English soldiery, and of the 
unavoidable punishments which must be inflicted upon the 
malefactors. 

' Your own campaign in Baden gave you sad experience 
in all these matters. 

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88 LETTER BY THE QUEEN 1857 

4 If we get over the crisis, which I firmly believe we shall, 
the general result may possibly be good. 

4 The confidence of the public in the Indian army, even to 
the disadvantage of the Queen's forces, to which the entire 
press has sedulously contributed, has proved to be utterly 
mistaken ; and now we shall, no doubt, have recourse to a 
rational military system. 

4 Whether the Company will maintain its position is some- 
what doubtful : 44 qui vivra, verra." 

4 The English public is calm and composed, the Ministry 
too calm for my notions, and therefore we are constantly 
digging our spurs into their sides. 

4 Now, however, I will release you from my Indian gossip, 
and remain always, &c. &c. 

4 Albert.* 

We have chronicled a few pages back the remark of a 
stranger, after one interview with the Prince, — 4 One cannot 
like this man ; one must love him. 9 What, then, must have 
been the feeling the Prince inspired in his home ! Few will 
read without emotion the charming glimpse of what he was 
to the head of that home, and what that home was, in the 
following letter from the Queen to her Uncle, written next 
day (27th July) during the Prince's absence in Brussels : — 

4 At this very moment the marriage is going on, the knot 
is being tied which binds your lovely and sweet child to a 
thoroughly worthy husband, and I am sure you will be much 
moved. May every blessing attend her ! I wish I could be 
present — but my dearest half being there makes me feel as 
if I were there myself. I try to picture to myself how all 
will be. I could not give you a greater proof of my love 
for you all, and of my anxiety to give you and dearest Char- 
lotte pleasure, than in urging my dearest Albert to go over, 
for I encouraged and urged him to go, though you cannot 

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1857 TO KING LEOPOLD. 89 

think how much this costs me, or how completely forlorn I 
am and feel when he is away, or how I count the hours until 
he returns. All the numerous children are as nothing to me 
when he is away. It seems as if the whole life of the house 
and home were gone. 

* We do all we can to f&ter this day in our very quiet 
way. We are all out of mourning ; the younger children are 
to have a half-holiday ; Alice is to dine for the first time in 
the evening with us; we shall drink the Archduke and 
Archduchess's healths, and I have ordered wine for our 
servants, and grog for our sailors to do the same. 

4 Vicky, who is painting in the alcove near me, wishes me 
to say everything to you and the dear young couple, and 
pray tell dear Charlotte all that we have been doing.' 

The Prince hurried home that night from Brussels by way 
of Antwerp, Dover, and Portsmouth ; reaching Osborne next 
day in time for dinner. The subject which was obviously 
uppermost in his thoughts at this time was India. He could 
not bear to be absent from the Queen's side one unnecessary 
hour at a time of so much difficulty. Indeed he found on 
his return that further news had come of fresh danger and 
disaster. The same evening the last debate of the session on 
the subject of India was raised in the House of Commons by 
Mr. Disraeli in a three hours' speech, in which, holding the 
view — a view now generally abandoned — that the revolt 
was a national and not a military one, he advocated the 
sending of a Koyal Commission to India to inquire into the 
grievances of all classes there. At the same time he urged 
that our forces in India should be doubled, that its people 
should be told that there was a hope for them in the future, 
and ' taught at once that the relations between them and 
their Sovereign would be drawn nearer.' The House, how- 
ever, was not disposed to interfere with the action of the 

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90 LETTER BY THE QUEEN 1857 

Government, and accepted without a division a motion of 
Lord John KusselTs for an address to assure ' Her Majesty 
that they would support Her Majesty in any efforts neces- 
sary to suppress the disturbances in India, and in any 
measures required for the establishment of tranquillity.' 

Although the House of Commons, which in so doing ex- 
pressed the universal feeling of the nation, had thus given 
authority to call the uttermost resources of the country into 
play, the action of the Cabinet still seemed to the Queen 
and to the Prince to be lacking in vigour, and this at a time 
when advantage was sure to be taken by some of the Euro- 
pean Governments of any symptom of weakness. Replying 
on the 2nd of August to a letter from Lord Palmerston, in 
which he announced that the Cabinet had decided on calling 
out the militia, Her Majesty gave expression to this opinion : 

4 The embodying of the militia will be a most necessary 
measure, as well for the defence of our own country, and for 
keeping up on the Continent of Europe the knowledge that 
we are not in a defenceless state, as for the purpose of obtain- 
ing a sufficient number of volunteers for the army. The 
Queen hopes, therefore, that the militia to be embodied will 
be on a proper and sufficient scale. 

' She must say that the last accounts from India show so 
formidable a state of things that the military measures 
hitherto taken by the Home Government, on whom the 
salvation of India must mainly depend, appear to the Queen 
as by no means adequate to the emergency. We have nearly 
gone to the full extent of our available means, just as we did 
in the Crimean War, and may be able to obtain successes, but 
we have not laid in a store of troops, nor formed reserves 
which would carry us over a long struggle, or meet unforeseen 
new calls. Herein we are always most short-sighted, and 
have finally to suffer either in power and reputation, or to 

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1 857 AS TO REINFORCEMENTS FOR INDIA. 91 

pay enormous sums for small advantages in the end, generally 
both. 

' The Queen hopes that the Cabinet will look the question 
boldly in the face. Nothing could be better than the resolu- 
tions passed in the House of Commons ensuring to the 
Government every possible support in the adoption of vigo- 
rous measures. It is generally the Government, and not the 
House of Commons, who hang back.' 

This letter was read to the Cabinet, and its words seem, 
by the following letter from Lord Clarendon two days after- 
wards, to have found an echo in his own convictions : — 

'Lord C. read with melancholy satisfaction your Majesty's 
warning to the Cabinet, and your Majesty needs no assurance 
from him, that he will use his utmost efforts to induce his 
colleagues to admit the indisputable fact, that we are utterly 
defenceless. The thought of this haunts Lord Clarendon by day 
and by night, and he solemnly assured the Cabinet at its last 
meeting, that the Indian difficulties were already producing an 
altered tone towards this country on the part of Foreign Powers, 
and that, if we were not wise in time, they would soon make us 
feel that they knew our condition as well or better than we do 
ourselves. 

"The slowness with which recruiting can be effected is an 
appalling difficulty.' 

The language of the following letter to Baron Stockmar 
shows how strongly the Prince felt that the Government were 
not yet fully alive to the danger, the sense of which was 
borne home to them with resistless force by the tidings of 
the next few weeks : — 

*My expedition to Brussels turned out extremely well. 
They were greatly pleased at my coming, and gave me a 
most cordial reception. 

* Uncle was greatly moved and distressed by the imminent 



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92 LETTER BY THE PRINCE. 1857 

separation from his daughter ; I have never seen him show 
so much emotion. Bride and bridegroom were happy . . . 

' Brussels was in great excitement and the popular feeling 
excellent. 

4 The events in India are very tragical, and demonstrate 
the utterly decrepit state of an army which rests upon civil 
government and the press. We have asked some measures 
from the Government. It behaves, however, just as it did 
in the Crimean campaign, is ready to let our poor little 
army be wasted away, and to make fine grandiose speeches, 
but does not move one step towards seeing that the lamp is 
fed with oil ; consequently it must go out suddenly with a 
stench. 

'Bussia and France turn the moment to account in 
resuming their plan for the destruction of the Turkish 
Empire, and have Prussia and Sardinia on their side, so that 
we are left with only Austria with us in the question of the 
Principalities. M. de Thouvenel's language is now wholly 
that of Prince Menschikoff ! ! * 

Like the Prince, Baron Stockmar had too much faith in 
the English people — a nation which had so often proved 
itself 4 adversis rerum imm&rsabUis undis ' — to have any 
doubt of her coming safely in the end out of the fiery trial 
she was now undergoing. Accordingly, in replying to the 
Prince (9th August), he says : — 

4 The events in India are a heavy domestic calamity for 
England. Yet, just because of this, there is less reason to 
despair, as the English people surpass all others in Europe 
in energy and vigour of character, and for strong men 
misfortune serves as a school for instruction and improve- 
ment.' 



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93 



CHAPTER LXXIX. 

Eablt on the morning of the 6th of August the Heine 
Hortense, with the Emperor and Empress of the French on 
board, was reported to be approaching Osborne, and the 
Queen and Prince hurried down to the private landing- 
place on the beach under the House, to receive their Imperial 
visitors. The Emperor had had a bad fall on board and 
was rather lame, but otherwise both the Empress and himself 
were well and in excellent spirits. 

By this time the discussion in regard to the Principalities 
between Russia, Prussia, Sardinia, and France, on the one hand, 
and England, Austria, and the Porte, on the other, had risen to 
fever heat. The elections for the Divan of Moldavia, which 
had been convoked by the Sultan, in pursuance of the Treaty 
of Paris, to express the opinion of the people in regard to 
the definitive organisation of the Principality (see ante, p. 
48), had resulted in the return of members who were known 
by France and her supporters to be unfavourable to a union 
of the two Principalities under one head. They accused the 
Porte of having effected this result by tampering with the 
electoral lists, and using other undue means to influence the 
elections. So far had the dispute gone within the last few 
days that France, Russia, and Sardinia had threatened to 
withdraw their ambassadors from Constantinople unless the 
elections were forthwith annulled. This meant war and 
general European confusion. 

A long conference on the subject took place that day 

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94 VISIT OF EMPEROR AND EMPRESS 1857 

between the Emperor and the Prince, an account of which 
by the Prince will presently be given. It could of course be 
only a free and friendly interchange of ideas. The official 
negotiations for an arrangement were left in the hands of 
Lords Palmerston and Clarendon, who came to Osborne for 
the purpose of conducting them with the Emperor and his 
Ministers, MM. Walewski and Persigny, who were also 
guests at Osborne during the visit. During the two next 
days protracted conferences between the Emperor and the 
Ministers of both countries took place, when, after much 
difficulty, an arrangement was come to, which had the effect 
of obviating the serious rupture between the Powers which 
had lately seemed to be imminent. 

In these conferences, it is scarcely necessary to say, neither 
the Queen nor Prince took part, the matter being left en- 
tirely in the hands of Lord Palmerston and Lord Clarendon. 
Matters of even more urgent importance to England were 
then paramount in their thoughts, and it appears from the 
Prince's Diary, that advantage was taken of the presence of 
these noblemen at Osborne to go with them very fully into 
the state of our army and navy, with reference to what was 
taking place in India and China, and what the Prince calls 
'our pitiable state of unpreparedness (unsem kUiglichen 
Zustand der Unv&rbereiteikeit).' 

The Imperial visitors returned to France on the 10th, after 
an interview between the Emperor and the Prince, in which 
the former 'explained his whole policy, and I honestly 
(ehrticft) gave him my opinion on all points 9 — (Prince's 
Dicvry). How frankly and honestly that opinion was given 
will presently be seen. 

Besides accomplishing a valuable political result, the 
visit went off to the obvious satisfaction of all parties. 
It is thus the Queen writes of it (12th August) to King 
Leopold : — 

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1 857 OF THE FRENCH TO OSBORNE. 95 

' Our visit was in every way very satisfactory and agreeable. 
Politically it was, as Lord Clarendon said, " a godsend," for 
the unhappy difficulties in the Principalities have been 
aplanis and satisfactorily settled. The visit was very 
quiet and gemiithlich (tranquilly pleasant). Good Osborne 
in no way changed its unpretending privacy and simplicity, 
and with the exception of a little dance in a tent on Satur- 
day (which was very successful) and additional carriages and 
ponies, our usual life remained unchanged. Albert truly 
observed, that the first evening, when the gentlemen came 
out of the dining-room, he had to rub his eyes, as one says, 
to feel quite sure* that he was not dreaming, when he saw 
the Emperor and Empress standing there. 

' The Emperor spoke out, as he always does, very openly 
to Albert, and he to him, which is a great advantage, and 
Palmerston said to me the last day : " The Prince can say 
many things which we cannot." Very naturally. 

' The Emperor, to whom I gave your message, desired me 
to say everything kind to you, and said : "X« Boi n'estpas 
8euUment tris-aimable^ mais U a tcmt de bon sens." 

'Nothing could be more amiable, kind, pleasant, or 
ungenant than both Majesties were. They are most agree- 
able guests, and as for her, we are all in love with her, and I 
wish you knew her. • . . Albert, who is seldom much pleased 
with ladies or princesses, is very fond of her, and her great 
ally. . . . 

4 Persigny's devotion to the Emperor, and his courage and 
straightforwardness in all these affairs, are very gratifying.' 

Of the impression left by the visit upon the Emperor of 
the French, the following admirable letter by himself to the 
Queen, while its influence was still fresh upon him, is the 
best record : — 

* Madam and very dear Sister,-^We left Osborne so touched 

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96 LETTER FROM FRENCH EMPEROR 1857 

by the kind reception of your Majesty and of Prince Albert, 
we are so struck with admiration for the spectacle of all the 
virtues which is presented by the Royal family of England, 
that it is difficult for me to find words adequate to express 
all the sentiments of devotion and regard which we feel 
towards your Majesty. 

4 It is so sweet to us to think, that apart from political 
interests, your Majesty and your Majesty's family entertain 
some affection for us, that in the very first rank of my settled 
purposes I place the desire always to be worthy of this 
august friendship. I believe that after passing a few days 
in your Majesty's society, one becomes better ; just as when 
one has learned to appreciate the various knowledge and the 
exalted judgment of the Prince, one goes away from him 
more advanced in one's ideas, and more disposed to do good. 

6 Deign, Madam, I beseech you, to say to him who so 
nobly shares your lot, that I entertain for him the highest 
esteem, and the most unqualified friendship : — in saying this, 
I say, how much value I place upon his. 

4 As for your Majesty's children, they are all endowed 
with such good and charming qualities, that they are loved 
as soon as seen, and that it becomes the most natural thing 
in the world to wish them all the happiness of which they 
are worthy. 

c Adieu, Madam. Heaven grant that two years may not 
again elapse before we have the pleasure of finding ourselves 
near you, for the hope of soon seeing you again is the only 
thing to console us for this painful parting. 1 
'Palace of the Tuileries, 16th of August, 1857/ 

1 As much of the charm of this letter vanishes in translation, the original 
is subjoined : — 

'Madame et tres-chere Soeur, — Nous sommes partis d'Osbome si touches 
de l'aimable accueil de votre Majesty et du Prince Albert, nous sommes 
tellement penetres d' admiration pour le spectacle de toutes les vertus qu'offre 
la Famille Royale d'Angleterre, qu'il m'est difficile de trouver des expressions 

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1&57 TO THE QUEEN. 97 

A letter so obviously written from the heart naturally 
elicited a reply no less cordial from the Queen. But we can 
find room for a translation of only that portion of it which 
alludes to what the Emperor had said of the Prince. 

4 1 cannot, 9 the Queen wrote (21st August) i contest the 
favourable opinion which your Majesty has formed of my 
beloved husband, because I know that he deserves it, as he 
has no other ambition but that of doing good, and of making 
himself useful where he can. In a position so isolated as 
ours, we can find no greater consolation, no support more 
sure, than the sympathy and counsel of him or her who is 
called to share our lot in life, and the dear Empress, with 
her generous impulses, is your guardian angel, as the Prince 
is my true friend.' 

Tidings of the salutary influence exercised by the Prince 

upon the Emperor during this visit were not long of reaching 

England from Paris on the best authority. On the 18th of 

August Lord Cowley, in a letter to Lord Clarendon, wrote : — 

pour bien dlfinir tous les sentiments devoues et tendres que nous eprouvons pour 
Totre Majesty. 

1 11 est si doux pour nous de penser qu'en dehors des inteVets de la politique 
votre Majeste et sa Famille ressentent quelque affection pour nous, que je 
mets au premier rang de mes preoccupations le desir de meriter toujours cette 
auguste amitie. Je crois que, lorsqu'on a passe quelques jours dans votre 
intimites on en revient meilleur, de memo, lorsqu'on a su apprecier les coonais- 
sances variees et le jugement 61ev6 du Prince, on revient d'aupres de lui plus 
instruit et plus apte a faire le bien. 

• Daignez, je tous prie, Madame, dire a celui qui partage si noblement Totre 
sort, que j'ai pour lui la plus haute estime et la plus tranche amitie, c'est 
a dire corabien je tiens a la sienne. 

' Qnant aux enfants de votre Majesty ils sont tous doues de si bonnes et si 
charmantes qualites qu'on les aime des qu'on les voit, et qu'il devient bien 
naturel de leur souhaiter tout le bonheur dont ils sont dignes. 

4 Adieu, Madame. Dieu veaille que deux annees ne s'ecoulent plus avant 
que nous ayons le bonheur de nous retrouver pres de vous, car l'espoir de tous 
revoir bientot est la seule consolation a une separation penible. 

• Je prie votre Majeste de receroir avec bonte l'expression des sentiments de 
haute estime et d'entier denouement avec lesquels je suis, de votre Majesta, le 
bon finere et ami, 

* Napouoir. 

• Palais des Tuileries, le 16 Ao&t, 1857/ 

TOL. IT. H 



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98 EFFECT OF VISIT. 1857 

( I must not conclude my letter without saying that I hear 
from all quarters, how charmed the Emperor and Empress were 
with their visit and its results. You are already aware of the 
high opinion which the Emperor entertained of the Prince 
Consort's judgment and abilities, and this opinion appears, if 
possible, to have been augmented. I cannot doubt that H.B.H. 
made a deep impression on, and, I trust, will exercise a salutary 
influence over the Imperial mind. This at all events must be said 
for the Emperor, that he is open to conviction, and that good judg- 
ment and sound sense make an impression on him. Unfortunately 
he finds little of the kind to consult in this country.' 

The Emperor's letter to the Queen had been accompanied 
by one from the Empress. These the Queen sent to Lord 
Clarendon for perusal, and in returning them his lordship 
writes (20th August) : — 

* Lord Clarendon is very grateful to your Majesty for having 
allowed him to see the letters of the Emperor and Empress. He 
never read a letter better expressed, or more affectionate and gen- 
tleman-like than the Emperor's. He could hardly have written so, 
if he had not felt what he said, and he could not have so felt, if 
his heart had not been properly moved by the contemplation of 
all that he records. The Empress's letter is likewise charming, 
and just what it ought to be. 

' One cannot over-estimate the importance of the recent visit, 
for the Emperor is France, and France moreover in her best form, 
because he is thus capable of generous emotions and of appre- 
ciating the truth, and her alliance with England has consequently 
been retremjpee and invigorated at Osborne.' 

In the same letter Lord Clarendon encloses one from Lord 
Palmerston, to whom he had by Her Majesty's directions 
forwarded the Imperial letters. Of these Lord Palmerston 
says : — 

' These are indeed most satisfactory letters, written with evident 
sincerity of feeling, and with real overflowing affection, and they 
show the great advantage of the visit. The fact is, that nobody 
can come into personal intercourse with the Queen and Prince 



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1857 LETTER BY THE PRINCE. 99 

without being impressed with the same sentiments which these 
letters convey.' 

What the Prince himself thought of the Emperor's 
letter we gather from what he says of it in writing a few 
days afterwards to Baron Stockmar : — 

€ I send you to-day the copy of a letter from the Emperor 
Napoleon to the Queen, because I believe its contents will 
give you pleasure ; first, because they show that our relation 
rests upon an honourable, moral basis, and next, because they 
express the warmth and sensibility of the writer's disposition, 
and prove that the fearless and simple statement of the truth 
does not put him out of humour, but forces an acknowledg- 
ment of it from him.' 

The Prince seems to have lost no time in putting the 
results of his conversation with the Emperor on record 
in the following autograph Memorandum, That he attached 
importance to its contents may be inferred from the fact, 
mentioned in a letter to Baron Stockmar (17th August), 
that he had dictated a copy of it to the Princes? Royal, as a 
lesson to her in the political studies in which he had for 
some time been educating her : — 

1 Osborne, 6th August, 1857. 

* The Emperor and Empress having arrived in the morning 
between nine and ten, the Emperor took the opportunity of 
a walk after breakfast, to speak to me upon the present 
state of affairs in the East, which he acknowledged had got 
to a dead lock, and which gave him much anxiety. He said 
he would tell me the whole course of events as far as known 
to him, and as reported to him. 

* At the Congress of Paris he had expressed his opinion of 
the desirableness of the union of the Principalities, possibly 
under a foreign Prince ; and Lord Clarendon seemed not 

H 2 



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ioo MEMORANDUM OF CONVERSATION 1857 

only not to object, but to agree with him as to the advan- 
tages of such an arrangement. 2 Austria declared herself 
vehemently against it. Since he had got home, Lord Clar- 
endon had completely changed his opinion, and was against 
the union. He (the Emperor) did not complain of this, 
hut mentioned it in order to show, that he had not gone 
forward without previously trying to put himself " d'accord n 
with us. Ever since, as the decision was to be left with 
the Divans, the partisans of Austria and Turkey had 
committed the most outrageous acts to force on a decision 
against the union, contrary to the wishes of the people, who 
were so anxious for it, that, when the French Commissioner 
arrived, they carried him in triumph through the streets, 
dragging his carriage. It was the attempt made by the 
anti-unionists to make it appear, that he (the Emperor) was 
not sincere in his wish for the union, which had obliged him 
to put his Declaration, of which we had since complained, 
into the " Monitewr? which was, as he termed it, " un pev, 
8a cliaTnbre" Thereupon the other party committed still 
further frauds and violences, and falsified the electoral lists. 
He had not to complain of the English or Russian Commis- 
sioners, who remained entirely neutral. He had thereupon 
demanded from the Porte the revision of these lists, which 
the Porte had promised. At the last hour the Porte threw 
her promise over, because Lord Stratford commanded it. 
The Ministers and the Sultan acknowledged their wrong, 
and how sorry they were, but that they could not venture to 
offend Lord Stratford. There were certain things which a 
great country like France could not put up with in the face 
of Europe ; he demanded the annulment of the elections, or 
would break off diplomatic relations ; Russia, Sardinia, and 
Prussia would follow him. 

' See Lord Clarendon's own account of what took place, cmte, vol. iii. pp. 
405-6. 

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1857 BETWEEN PRINCE AND EMPEROR, 101 

* I replied, that this was sad indeed ; — bttt that in the ap- 
preciation of the facts much would depend on their being 
true or accurate, as "reported to him. Lord Clarendon and 
Lord Palmerston would be here to answer as to the details. 
I could only say in general, that the reports which we had 
received gave a totally different story of French electioneer- 
ing practices, a secret committee at Paris, the anxiety of the 
Porte to be protected by Lord Stratford against France, 
&c. &c. The fact was, that these places in the East were 
the head-quarters of intriguers and liars, whose inevitable 
dupes the representatives of the Great Powers become, as 
soon as they set their foot there. 

4 The Emperor said, there was unfortunately much truth 
in that ; but what grieved him most was the ready suspicion, 
and the accusation that he was false- to the English alliance 
and wanted to break it, whenever he maintained an opi- 
nion of his own. Great countries could not renounce the 
right of having their own opinion. 

4 1 rejoined, that nothing could be more foolish than such 
a pretension ; that we must be glad, if France had an opinion 
of her own, as it was only by a friendly interchange of such 
opinions that we could hope to arrive at the truth. As the 
causes which produced such frequent altercations between 
us, however, formed the subject of my anxious study, he 
must allow me to put another question to him, to which I 
begged he would give me an open and honest answer. " Do 
you really care for the continuance of the integrity of the 
Turkish Empire? This is with us a principle for which 
we have entered into the French alliance, for which we 
have made endless sacrifices in blood and treasure, and 
which we are determined to maintain with all the energy 
we possess." 

4 The Emperor said, he would be quite open and honest. 
44 If I asked him as a private individual, he did not care for 

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102 MEMORANDUM OF CONVERSATION 1857 

it, and could not muster up any sympathy for such a sorry 
set as the Turks." 

* I interrupted — that I had thought as much. " But," he 
added, " if you ask me as an homme politique, <?eet une 
autre chose ... I am, of course, not prepared to abandon 
the original object of our alliance, for which France also 
has made great sacrifices." 

4 " Well," I continued, " as determined as we are to main- 
tain the integrity of the Ottoman Empire, so determined is 
Russia to destroy it ; but as she has seen her mistake last 
time, to leave France on our side, which she had not calcu- 
lated upon, she would take pretty good care to have her next 
time on her own side. The real antagonists upon principle 
were Russia and England ; and the Power to be gained is 
France, and I must say, I saw with deep regret, that, 
ever since the Peace, Bussia had made immense progress in 
winning France over, and what had now happened at Con- 
stantinople was a complete Russian triumph." 

4 The Emperor answered, ** He could not believe in that. 
Although he did not take for gospel all the Grand Duke 
Constantino had said, he believed he had told him the truth, 
when he assured him, that Russia did not eare for possessing 
herself of Constantinople." 

4 I rejoined, " I believed this also ; but what Russia 
wanted was the dismemberment of the Turkish Empire ; she 
would like best to make a sort of Germany of it — little 
States, which she could govern absolutely, without expense or 
responsibility." 

'"And you think that the independent Principalities 
united are to make the beginning ? " he interrupted. 

< " Exactly ! " 

i " I cannot believe this," continued the Emperor. " Russia 
is even, I believe, against the union." 

' I explained that Russia had been most cautious not to 

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1857 BETWEEN PRINCE AND EMPEROR. 103 

declare herself, as France was doing the whole work, with 
the additional advantage of her quarrel with England. But 
why was he himself so anxious for the union ? 

' The Emperor explained that he thought the union, by 
rendering those countries contented, and particularly if well 
governed by an European Prince, would form an effectual 
barrier against Russia, whilst the present disjointed and 
unsatisfactory condition of those countries would make them 
always turn towards Russia. The union was therefore in the 
interest of Turkey. 

' I said, that upon this one would answer in England that 
Turkey, being violently against it, must be supposed to know 
her own interest best. 

' The Emperor did not admit that this followed as a matter 
of course. 

' When I instanced Austria . as equally opposed to the 
union, and equally interested to keep Russia out, the Em- 
peror took the opportunity to express the astonishment and 
disagreeable feeling which had been produced upon himself 
and France by our sudden alliance with Austria, which was 
more remarkable than the fact, that he had not repelled the 
many advances which Russia had made towards him with 
rudeness, although he had sometimes been afraid that the 
coldness with which he had received les bans procSdSs of the 
Russians must appear as such. 

* I said that we had no alliance with Austria, but only 
happened to find her going hand-in-hand with us for a 
common object, for which France had been once on our side, 
whereas it was now taking the view of Russia. 

'The Emperor then spoke on a subject which he had 

much at heart, and which he thought might have been taken 

up at the time when the Conference was assembled at Paris ; 

but the idea, which he had had, he had now given up, as 

.seeing its difficulties and dangers, viz. a Revision of the 

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104 MEMORANDUM OF CONVERSATION 1857 

Treaties of 1815. They were bad, had been frequently 
infringed, and remained as a memorial of the union of 
Europe against France, 

* I expressed in the strongest terms my opinion of the 
danger of touching that question. They might be bad, but 
their intention had not been directed against France. They 
were the result of a war, which had raged during twenty-five 
years through the whole of Europe, and the basis upon which 
the peace of the world had been assured for the last forty 
years. They had not affected France alone, but thousands 
of interests in every country. Many countries had disap- 
peared altogether; others had been divided, curtailed, 
reformed, &c. &c. If one Power could claim a revision, all 
could do the same, and had the same right to it. The end 
would be a rousing of all the evil passions — bloodshed and 
general war — of which nobody could see the end, which 
might indeed be very different from what any one had 
expected. I begged him to open the book of history, which 
lay before him. I knew of only one instance in all history 
of the object of a great struggle having been declared before- 
hand, and left unaltered and unsurpassed in the end ; and 
this was our late war for the integrity of the Porte. But 
who, for instance, would have thought, when the Duke of 
Brunswick issued his famous proclamation from Coblenz 
before he entered with the Allies into France to assist poor 
Louis XVI., that the end of it would be the Congress of 
Vienna in 1815? And who would have dreamed of the 
dreadful catastrophes which filled up the intermediate 
time? 

4 The Emperor answered that, of course, if such results were 
to come of it, the idea would not do at all, but that he 
thought there were many little improvements in the state of 
Europe possible without such consequences. He wished to 
do nothing to create disturbance ; all he wished was cU bien 

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1857 BETWEEN PRINCE AND EMPEROR. io$ 

^entendre avec le Oouvemement Anglais, sur touies les 
&ventualite8) so that, when they arose, they should not find us 
unprepared and disagreeing. 

' I rejoined, that the Treaties of 1815 had been and were 
the basis upon which rested the international law. and the 
legal state of Europe ; but this had not prevented readjust- 
ments in special cases where they had become necessary. I 
had only to point to Belgium, and even quite recently to 
Neuchatel. The main point in the treaties as directed 
against France had been the exclusion of the Buonaparte 
family from the throne. The Emperor's presence here 
to-day was the strongest proof that there was no practical 
difficulty in changing special points when such changes had 
become necessary ; but calling the treaties generally into 
doubt must lead to certain commotion. 

4 The Emperor insisted that, even although this were so, 
it did not prevent England and France understanding each 
other on special points, but this understanding the English 
Government always avoided. Now even in Africa many im- 
provements were possible, but at the least movement on his 
part up started all the English Consuls in arms denouncing 
him. 

' The Emperor complained of the violence Lord Palmers- 
ton had shown lately. He had written short notes to 
Count Persigny, which the latter sent on to him. These 
had latterly been such, that he had forbidden any more 
coming under his eye, and Lord Palmerston had only lately 
said in one of them : " Si tdles et telle* sont les opmions de 
FEmpereur, que va-t-il chercher a Osborne? Powrquoi 
vieniril ? " This was, as the Emperor expressed it, «' un peu 
f<yrt." 

' I said, that Lord Palmerston generally wrote more strongly 
than he spoke, and that these notes must evidently have 
been only quite confidential effusions. 

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io6 MEMORANDUM OF CONVERSATION 1857 

• Osborne, 11th August, 1867. 

' Before leaving yesterday, the Emperor invited me to a 
final conversation. He seemed very much pleased at an 
understanding having been come to with us, but he hoped we 
should take great care not to let it ooze out, for it would 
never do for him, and the honour of France, that it should be 
said, he had come over to Osborne, and then immediately 
been made to change his mind. 

' [The agreement come to is, that England should make 
the Porte annul the elections, and that the Emperor should 
yield upon the question of the union.] 

'I replied, we had certainly no intention to take any 
unfair advantage of his concessions ; but that it would only 
appear natural to the world, that the position which the 
Porte had taken up, and in which she had been supported by 
England and Austria, would not have been suddenly aban- 
doned and reversed, unless he had made some counter con- 
cessions. 

' The Emperor said, that he had always intended to be 
conciliatory ; but that he had never been understood. 
Persigny was very well meaning, but unfortunately he always 
took the side of Lord Palmerston against his master. He 
had himself a high opinion of Lord Palmerston's judgment, 
but he wanted his [the Emperor's] own opinions to be ex- 
plained to him. Instead, however, of explaining them to the 
English Government, Persigny combated them with his own ; 
and so, instead of being able to convince the English Govern- 
ment, he had to dispute with his own Ambassador. He re- 
gretted how often England and France misunderstood each 
other. 

' I joined in this regret, but thought the circumstance 
not unnatural, considering the difference of the nations. 
Nations had their natural history, like animals, which must 
be taken into account, if they are to judge of each other 



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1857 BETWEEN PRINCE AND EMPEROR. 107 

correctly. Just as a sparrow did not eat meat, and an owl 
must not be expected to live on seeds, so the ruling point 
with France was the 44 paint d'honneur" which she often 
placed on matters which Englishmen could not understand. 
On the other hand, England was ruled by interest and prin- 
ciple. The English are slow in taking up a line, which 
must itself be first proved to them to be just in principle and 
for their real interest. When this is done, and the line is 
once taken, they will cling to it with persevering tenacity, 
and no change of ministers or men will have the slightest 
influence upon it. I appealed to history, the American war, 
the Indian policy, the wars with Napoleon, who had never 
been able to understand this, thinking that Mr. Pitt was the 
enemy of France, whilst Mr. Fox, Lord Granville, Lord 
Liverpool, in fact all, followed the same policy in office. 

4 The Emperor complained of the duplicity of Austria, of 
which Count Nesselrode had given him striking instances in 
Paris lately. Whilst Austria had been professing towards 
us, that she occupied the Principalities in order to keep the 
Russians out of them, she explained to Russia, that she did 
so only to free the Russian army, so that it might more 
easily fall upon us. 

4 I replied : I fully believed this ; I was not at all surprised 
at it, from having considered the natural history of the 
Austrian Government. • • • But I added, if Austria is in- 
sincere, Russia is ten times more so. 

4 The Emperor agreed with me, but said it was of the 
greatest importance to France not to let the Northern 
alliance be reconstructed, which had so long maintained a 
threatening and hostile combination against her. 

4 1 fttlly admitted this, but begged that on that account 
he would not give Austria -cause for apprehension ; for if she 
saw that her interests required it, she eould make her peace 
with Russia in three days. Russia and France had been 

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108 MEMORANDUM OF CONVERSATION 1857 

enemies from 1815 to 1853 without the interests of either 
suffering in the least from it. Austria and Russia, on the 
other hand, had so many points of contact, and of common 
interest, that it was difficult to keep them long asunder. 

6 The Emperor answered, that he had already seen an in- 
stance of what I had said. Austria had offered a reconciliation 
to Russia, but the Emperor Alexander had replied, that, 
although he felt no rancune, their good understanding 
must not be hostile to France, whom he looked upon as a 
friend; this was, "ilfaut le dire, trte bien de la part de 
VEmpereur" It was very important for France, that she 
should not get Austria as her neighbour, having Prussia 
already on her frontier. This was the reason why he had 
resented so much the move which Austria had made with 
regard to supplying the garrison of Rastadt, which he now 
felt sure had originated in the desire for economy on the 
part of the Grand Duke of Baden. 

' I said that, far from being a proof of the ambition of 
Austria, this move arose with the South German Kingdoms, 
who were afraid of Prussia and France, and of Austria leaving 
them in the lurch, if attacked on the Rhine, and who there- 
fore wished to have their fortresses garrisoned by Prussia. 
Austria pretended to the first voice in Germany, but never 
made the slightest sacrifices for the good of Germany. 

* The Emperor told me, that he was going to have an in- 
terview with the Emperor of Russia in September, and was 
afraid that this would create a great outcry in England and 
the most foolish surmises. 

' I said, I thought it quite natural, and bad always anti- 
cipated, that this interview would take place; in fact, it 
could not be avoided, if the Emperor Alexander wished for 
it. He must not be astonished, if our press should not show 
much reserve on the occasion, for although understanding 
general politics, and the special interests of England very 



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1857 BETWEEN PRINCE AND EMPEROR. 109 

well, and although most ably written, it was not written by 
men conspicuous for " lea sentiments trfo-elevSs" 

' We then talked at length on the state of France, and on 
French politics. I asked him, whether he had read Tocque- 
ville's book, " UAncien RSgime et la R&uolution?" He 
answered that he had, and praised its style, but complained 
of the difficulty of doing anything, as the "e&prit de la 
nation " was so contrary to any self-government, of which he 
gave me some curious and even ludicrous instances. He 
added, however, that what made France weak within, viz. 
4< la Centralisation" made her strong without. He preferred 
the state of England, but it could not be imitated in France. 

' He returned then to the old topic, and said that he ad- 
hered to his conviction, that the peace of Europe could never 
be lasting until the Treaties of 1815 were revised. However, 
he had of late seen again, that there were much greater diffi- 
culties than he had supposed. He would tell me what had made 
the strongest impression upon him. He had ordered Count 
Moray to speak to the Emperor Alexander, and to ascertain, 
if possible, his views on the subject for an exchange of 
opinions. The Emperor had answered, however, that he had 
learned from the experience of his father, who had once had 
a conversation with Sir Hamilton Seymour. The mischief 
which its publication had done would seal his lips to any 
diplomatist. 

' I said, that this was a most delicate question, and so full 
of danger, that it required the greatest care how it was 
touched. As for myself, I could not for the life of me see 
how it was to be done. No one would run the great risk of 
resettling the legal status of Europe, without great advan- 
tages to himself. Now, if everybody was to get great advan- 
tages, where were they to come from ? But if some were to 
seek great advantages to themselves at the expense of the 
others, these would defend themselves to the last. 

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no MEMORANDUM OF CONVERSATION 1857 

4 The Emperor replied, " Yes ! It is very difficult ; cepen- 

dant " There was, for instance, the Duke of Brunswick 

without children ; — what would become of the Duchy, when 
he died ? 

*I answered, "That is all settled by law and treaties. 
It would belong tp Hanover." 

* " That is," replied the Emperor, " why I always thought 
better means i powr rendre de (frauds bienfaUs au monde 9 
could be found out of Europe than within. There was 
Africa, for instance. He would not make of the Mediter- 
ranean, as Napoleon I. had wished, 6 un lac Francais, 9 but 
*U7t lac EuropSenS Spain might have Morocco, Sardinia 
a part of Tripoli, England Egypt, Austria a part of Syria — 
et que sais-je? These were all magnificent countries 
rendered useless to humanity and civilisation by their abomi- 
nable governments. France herself wanted an outlet for 
her turbulent spirits." 

' I considered this already a great improvement upon his 
first idea of interfering with the reformation of " le vieux 
monde et la vieille sovtitt ; " but for all that I could not con- 
sider it as at all easy, disturbing as it did to a certain degree, 
although in a different way, the balance of power in Europe. 
As for the outlet to be obtained for France, I was not sure 
that the Emperor did not over-estimate the advantage. 
France had for now twenty-seven years possessed Algeria, a 
country as large as herself, and I was afraid that it had not 
absorbed the turbulent spirits of Paris. It was not in the 
spirit of the French nation to colonise and build up new 
states, because of their inaptitude for self-government, of 
which he complained in France. 

' The Emperor could not agree to this, and said, time was 
necessary for creating new states; — that the French were 
ready to emigrate, and were to be found in large numbers 
in all the great towns of Europe and America. The great 

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1857 BETWEEN PRINCE AND EMPEROR. in 

obstacles, he continued, to any real improvements in Europe 
were the miserable jealousies of the different governments. 
That was why he thought a mutual understanding so essential. 
However, he was glad to have obtained one glimpse of day- 
light since he came here, which he considered as an im- 
mense point gained. He had gone through the Scandinavian 
question with Lord Palmerston. The Scandinavian union 
was wished by the people of the Northern countries. If 
Denmark were to be united with Sweden, he had been afraid 
that England would object to Holstein being given to Prussia 
on account of the splendid harbour of Kiel ; Lord Palmerston, 
however, had said, " Not at all." 

c I interrupted, that we would not object to the strengthening 
of Prussia ; but that I was certain that the people of Holstein 
would not like to become Prussian, nor would the rest of 
Germany like to see it. Holstein belonged already to 
Germany, and what she wanted was, not to be separated from 
Schleswig, the union with which was guaranteed to her. 
I expatiated a little on the Holstein question, which appeared 
to bore the Emperor as " trte-cornpliquie" 

' At the conclusion of our conversation, he expressed in the 
strongest terms his pleasure at the solution of the Eastern 
difficulty. 

*I said, that we could hardly be grateful enough to 
Providence for having allowed this visit, and for having let 
it fall at the present moment. Three days later he could 
not have come on account of the rupture and universal 
turmoil, which must have followed the steps taken at Con- 
stantinople. Three days before, it would have given the 
appearance, that whilst he had been the friendly guest at 
our house he had meditated treacherously to upset us in 
Turkey. What I should have dreaded most would have 
been the fury of our press against him personally. 

' I explained that this was not the effect of a desire on the 

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m MEMORANDUM OF CONVERSATION 1857 

part of the press of England to make war upon him ; but 
he must recollect, that our press was the only weapon 
left to all his enemies in Germany, Italy, France, &c. &c, 
and to the powerful party which had up to this time been 
successfully kept down by him. The use of this weapon is 
at present denied to them, as the press feels that, because 
the nation wants a good understanding, and the alliance 
with France and himself (the Emperor), the ally must be 
spared and protected. But, from the moment that this 
friendship is broken, the press having no further motive for 
shielding him, this fearful weapon would at once be at the 
disposal of his enemies, and used to the utmost. 

* As after the answer received by Count Morny from the 
Emperor Alexander, I could not help suspecting, that the 
object of the Imperial interview was to enable the Sovereigns 
to speak without that reserve which a diplomatist rendered 
necessary, I thought it as well to beg the Emperor to let me 
make one remark with reference to the projected meeting in 
September, viz., that knowing the relationship and ties of 
intimacy existing between the members of that great family 
of Northern princes, cemented by an alliance of nearly fifty 
years, I was certain too much caution could not be shown on 
his part with regard to what he might say to the Emperor 
Alexander, as I begged him to rest assured, that every word 
which passed his lips would be known at once to them all. 

« I ventured further to express my opinion on the danger 
to which he exposed himself by not taking a Minister with 
him, when he stayed away from Paris, and then treating 
important and complicated affairs quite of himself. 

' He answered : he felt this, but he could not correspond 
with so many different Ministers, and he could not take them 
all with him. He felt the necessity of getting some one 
to act as his chief Minister, " mais oil trouver Vhamm*?" 

' I agreed in the difficulty, but urged also the necessity of 

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1857 BETWEEN PRINCE AND EMPEROR. 113 

having an organ capable of seizing his views and giving 
them that form which would ensure their success. No 
monarch had been great without having a great Minister. 

' He concluded by many civil expressions of confidence in 
my judgment, to which I could only return the assurance of 
my sincerest wishes for the Emperor's success and welfare, 
and the happiness and prosperity of mankind.' 

(Initialed) <A. 

* Lord Palmerston, to whom I spoke of the foregoing con- 
versation, declared with some surprise, that the daylight 
which he could have shown to the Emperor could in reality 
have been only the smallest glimpse. He had by no means 
approved a division of Denmark ; but, on the contrary, had 
shown all the difficulties surrounding that question. He had 
merely stated, that we were not jealous of Prussia and of 
seeing her strengthened.' 

No one can read this Memorandum without admiring on 
the one hand the frankness and courage with which the 
Prince spoke out what was little calculated to flatter the 
Emperor's self-esteem, or without acknowledging on the 
other the openness to conviction for which Lord Cowley in 
the letter above cited claims credit for the Emperor, and 
that quality of mind, rare among all men, and most rare 
among sovereigns, which feels no resentment at contradiction. 

When informed by Lord Clarendon of the arrangement 
come to, the Prince advised him to put it in writing, on the 
sound principle that words spoken are apt to be differently 
understood and remembered. The value of the suggestion 
became apparent, when in the following year the Emperor 
and Count Walewski adopted a policy at variance with the 
Osborne Compromise. Fortunately Lord Palmerston acted 
upon the Prince's suggestion, and drew up a Memorandum 
the same day (9th August) the arrangement was concluded. 

YOL. iv, x 



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114 ARRANGEMENT AS TO PRINCIPALITIES. 1857 

That arrangement was in effect that the Moldavian elections 
should be annulled, and new electoral lists made out and 
revised by the Commissioners under the Treaty of Paris. 
On the other hand, the British and French Governments 
were to combine at the proper time in endeavouring to 
secure the euzerametS of the Sultan over the Danubian 
Provinces, and at the same time to ensure to those provinces 
an internal organisation calculated to maintain their ancient 
privileges, and to promote their well-being and prosperity. 

Next day the Memorandum was shown to Count Walewski, 
Lord Clarendon telling him, as he did so, that as it was 
drawn up for the information of the Cabinet, he wished to 
know if its correctness was admitted. Count Walewski 
admitted that it was correct, but refused to consider it as 
an official document, or to sign it, upon the ground that the 
Emperor's Government desired to keep the satisfaction to 
be obtained from the Porte, and the arrangement subse- 
quently to be made respecting the Principalities, distinct 
from each other, and also because, were he to sign the 
Memorandum, it would appear that France had made a 
concession upon the latter point for the purpose of inducing 
the Sultan to agree upon the former. These reasons were 
hardly sufficient for the refusal, and Count Walewski's conduct 
at a later period raised the suspicion that they may not have 
been his only reasons. 



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"5 



CHAPTER LXXX. 

Towards sunset on the evening of the 19th of August 
the inhabitants of Cherbourg were surprised by the unex- 
pected appearance in the harbour of Her Majesty's yacht 
Victoria and Albert, with the Queen and Prince and six 
of the Royal children on board. A stormy-looking sea in 
the Solent that morning had threatened to prevent the little 
expedition to France, which had been devised as a recrea- 
tion after many months of continuous anxiety and fatigue. 
But it was persevered in, upon the assurance of nautical 
experts, that the disturbance was local, and, true enough, 
when the yacht had passed the Needles the sea became smooth, 
and by the time Cherbourg was reached, says the Queen's 
Diary, from which we shall borrow largely for the account of 
this expedition, 'the evening was splendid, the sea like 
oil, and the sun throwing over everything a beautiful golden 
light. The breakwater,' the same record adds, * is of great 
extent, and extensive works are going on all around; the 
only shipping two or three small trading vessels. The small 
town is picturesquely situated, with an old church, — a fort 
with a high cliff commanding it on one side, and hills rising 
behind the town, very like Ehrenbreit stein.' 

The Prince went on shore at once, and soon afterwards the 
Prifet Maritime and his flag-lieutenant came on board the 
yacht, and remained to dinner with the Royal visitors. After 
dinner the English Consul, Mr. Hammond, and several French 
officers of distinction, appeared in full uniform. Among 

12 

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n6 VISIT BY THE QUEEN 1857 

these was General d'Herbillon, Inspecteur cPInfanterie, who 
had commanded at Traktir, in the Crimea, and who happened 
to be at Cherbourg on a tour of inspection. ' He was ex- 
tremely civil,' Her Majesty writes, 1 * expressing his thanks 
" powr Us grandes bontfo de voire MajestS " in sending him 
the Order of (Companion of) the Bath, " quejeporte avec une 
grands fierU" His aide-de-camp had also been with him 
in the Crimea. There was also General Borel de Bretizel, 
commanding the troops here, — also a Companion of the Bath 
— who turned out to be an old acquaintance, we having seen 
him with Nemours at our fancy ball in 1 845. It was strange* 
The others were the Contre-Amiral Kegnault, the Com- 
mandant de Place, Colonel Dumailly, General d'Artillerie, 
a very stout old gentleman, also on a tour of inspection, — 
all trle-aimables. After a few civil speeches they returned, 
and we went below and played.' 

Next morning at half-past eight all the fortresses saluted. 
' At twenty minutes past nine the Consul arrived, and Albert, 
to my great delight, consented to remain here to-night, so 
that we might visit an old chateau. Presently the Admiral 
arrived and preceded us in a fine large boat, — we following 
with the three eldest children and the ladies and gentlemen 
(the three youngest remaining to go on shore with the gover- 
nesses). Eowed up under salutes and the well-known fanfare, 
or Battre aux armes of the different guards of honour. The 
reception was half private — no troops being drawn up — but 
all the generals and officers of different kinds were there ; 
General Borel, in high boots, and on horseback, riding 
near our carriage. We and the two girls were in the 
Admiral's little open carriage — the ladies and gentlemen 
and officers, in others, following. The docks and " bassins " 
—of which there are three enormous ones in course of con- 

1 This and the subsequent quotations are taken from Her Majesty's 
Diary. 

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1857 AND PRINCE TO CHERBOURG. 117 

struction — are magnificent, formed of the finest granite of 
the country* and all executed in the best manner. 

' It makes me very unhappy to see what is done here, and 
how well protected the works are, for the forts and the break- 
water (which is treble the size of the Plymouth one) are 
extremely well defended. We got out twice to examine the 
construction, and look at the enormous depth of the docks. 
There are at least 8,000 workmen employed, and already 
millions have been spent. The works were commenced in 
the time of Louis XIV. We thea proceeded through the 
town — leaving the arsenal and fortifications, and passing by 
the Corderie (rope manufactory) — and ascended a hill out- 
side the town. The town itself is very picturesque, but 
small, humble, and thoroughly foreign-looking ; streets nar- 
row, "pav6 n bad ; all the windows, without exception, case- 
ments, opening quite back, leaving the whole space open, as 
if there were no windows, and with outside shutters. All the 
women in caps, many in the regular costume caps — many in 
smaller ones, and wearing full woollen petticoats and aprons, 
generally dark blue or violet — also coloured handkerchiefs. 
With hardly an exception, the caps were of dazzling white. 
Some 1 in mourning evidently) in black, with black ribbons 
round their caps. Very friendly, and making a great noise ; 
many nice fat children and babies. • . . We wound up a 
hill, looking over a beautiful country, to an old deserted 
fort called "Fort cCOctevitte" where we all got out and 
scrambled up, and looked over the town and port, with the 
beautiful blue sea — a very fine sight — and the view very 
extensive. An extremely hot sun and no air.' 

Ee-entering the carriage the Royal party returned * through 
the best part of the town to the Port Militaire, by the 
Casernes des Equipages (sailors' barracks, of which we have 
none whatever), before which was drawn up " le 42 m « " Beg4- 

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n8 VISIT BY THE QUEEN 1857 

ment, which had been in the Crimea, with " Sapeurs' " band 
playing Pwrtant pour la Syrie, and the well-known Battre 
aux armes, all (to me and to Vicky, too) so pretty, so 
pleasant to hear again; many soldiers, a few officers and 
even some sailors, with my Crimean medals, which both the 
Emperor and Prince Napoleon told us had given the greatest 
satisfaction. A great treat for Alice. We* were preceded 
all the way by two " gendarmes " on horseback. Got back to 
Port, re-embarked, and were on board our swimming home 
by twelve. The very civil Prifet Maritime escorted us 
back.' 

Immediately afterwards the Prince went to make a thorough 
inspection of the breakwater and other engineering works, 
which, we shall hereafter see, impressed him profoundly by their 
magnitude, and by the danger, in the event of a rupture with 
France, to which England might consequently be exposed 
from the want of any naval arsenals of similar strength and 
importance. The Diary continues : ' We lunched at two. 
The three younger children — delighted with their expedition 
— had seen town, shopped, seen soldiers, forts, &c. Arthur 
much excited. ... At three we left with precisely the same 
party as in the morning ; landed at same place, and got into 
an open char-a-bancs, with three seats and drawn by four 
horses. Albert and Mr. Hammond in front, I and Vicky next, 
Alice and Affie behind. The regular French poste, driven by 
one postilion on the wheel horse, harnessed with ropes, no 
springs to carriage, so that we bumped along on the pavement 
pretty roughly. The others were in two carriages follow- 
ing, closed, odd sort of carriages, each with a pair of horses. 
Drove through town, streets much fuller, some flags out, 
people very friendly, calling Vive la Reine cFAngleterre, and 
the post-boys making a terrible noise, cracking and flourish- 
ing their whips. We drove to Bricquebec, twenty-two kilo- 
metres from Cherbourg ; and by Octeville, a very small village, 

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1857 AND PRINCE TO CHERBOURG. 119 

along a beautiful hilly, rich wooded country, with corn- 
fields, but very small ones, and literally not one village, only 
detached cottages and farms, some close to the road. Every- 
thing most picturesque and primitive — all the women in 
white caps, often with children in their arms, but many 
weighed down with the weight of corn which they carried 
on their backs; many sitting and resting on the door-sill, 
knitting ; children running about, lattices open, showing in 
some cottages nice pewter-pots and platters, loaves, and here 
and there a ruddy, healthy payaarme, with her snow-white 
cap, looking at the strangely filled carriages passing before 
her. The horses and carts most picturesque, with sheepskins 
over them. The road, quite straight, turning to neither 
right nor left after leaving Octeville, up and down the long 
steep hills, so that a sort of drag had to be constantly let 
down on both sides to keep back the wheel. Intensely hot 
and dusty, but too delightfully interesting for one to feel 
tired. We could hardly believe we were really driving in 
this quiet way in France. 

* Half of the way the country was very like Devonshire. 
Beautiful beech and elm trees, and everything very green, 
and thoroughly ohampetre and unsophisticated. ... It grew 
later and later, and it seemed as though we should never reach 
our destination. At length, at the bottom of a hill, surmounted 
by the high old tower of the chateau, appeared the little 
town of Bricquebec. Most picturesque, the outskirts with 
good houses, well-dressed paysannes and fat babies at doors 
and windows. Then came a narrow street with shops, two 
old figures of saints in a conspicuous place, and people work- 
ing and knitting at doors ; picturesque groups without end. 
We stopped at an old narrow gateway and walked into the 
yard of the old chateau, part of which is now a very humble 
country inn called Le Vieux Chateau; and close to the gate- 
way rises the very high old chateau. Got out, had very 

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120 VISIT BY THE QUEEN 1857 

tired horses to feed, walked about, and finally climbed portion 
of castle, and went into the only portion of the interior which 
remains entire. The chateau is of the date of the eleventh 
century, and very curious. The somewhat tipsy mayor of 
the town conducted us over it ; and then, as our horses had 
to rest, we walked a little about the outskirts, and began to 
be surrounded by the gamins, moutards, and little beggar- 
boys of the village. 

' By the time we returned to the inn, the inhabitants of 
the village came up and surrounded us, chatting away and 
staring at and rather mobbing us. The horses, to our 
despair, not yet being rested, we decided to wait in a room 
upstairs — a small one with two beds — where we sat with the 
children and ladies, Vicky and I sketching the picturesque 
women and children standing below, in agony how and when 
we were to get back. It was near seven before we got into 
our carriage. We had only three horses, and fearing the 
others could not keep up with us, and wishing to be back as 
soon as possible, having people to dinner, we took Colonel 
Biddulph and Lady Jocelyn into our carriage, instead of 
Affie and Mr. Hammond.' 

4 The drive back was charming, sun setting, air deliriously 
fresh, and horses getting along very well. Many people 
coming home or at their supper. At last we stopped to light 
our lanterns at Montinvart, a third part of the way. Most 
amusing to see people running out with candles, which they 
held up trying to get a sight of us. Great crowd at Octeville, 
when we stopped to adjust harness, and many gathering round 
and trying to see " qui est done la Berne f w Cherbourg 
very full, but very dark, streets only lit by a lantern here and 
there slung across. Drove on to Port, and then pushed with 
great difficulty into barge, through a loudly talking crowd ; 
and left General Bouverie with a lantern in his hand on the 
steps. People cheering. 

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1857 AND PRINCE TO CHERBOURG. lit 

' Long past nine when we got back, only to dinner at a 
quarter to ten! General d'Herbillon (who sat next to me), 
General Borel, and the Admiral, dined with us. General 
d'Herbillon is an agreeable man, very dark and weather- 
beaten ; he talked much of the Crimean War, and of their 
having lost 90,000 men I He was fifteen years in Algeria 
without coming home. It was nearly eleven when dinner 
was over, and we retired shortly afterwards. Beautiful night. 
This expedition, the object of many wishes of mine, had 
been delightful. Some singers came out in a steamer and 
sang very prettily. Strange to say, hardly a single boat 
came out while we were in the harbour. In an English port, 
we should have been beset with them.' 

Next morning (21st) by half-past nine the Eoyal yacht 
steamed out of Cherbourg, to which the Eoyal visitors bade 
a reluctant adieu, and reaching Alderney by eleven, the 
Prince went ashore with Prince Alfred to inspect the forts, 
while the Queen with the rest of the children rowed round 
the harbour and inspected the breakwater. By half-past one 
the yacht was again under way, and Osborne was reached 
after a delightful sail upon a smooth and smiling sea by half- 
past seven in the evening. 

The Queen found the Emperor of the French's letter of 
the 15th above quoted waiting her return. In replying to 
that letter (21st August) Her Majesty thus speaks of her 
recent peaceful invasion of Normandy : * We have had a 
most interesting and agreeable visit to Cherbourg. The 
works are magnificent, of a colossal grandeur, and the road- 
stead is admirable. The authorities were most attentive to 
us, and wherever we were recognised (for we wished to be as 
much m private as possible) nothing could be kinder than 
the population. We made a little improvised excursion into 
the interior, en chars-drbancs, with post-horses, and it amused 

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122 LESSONS FROM CHERBOURG. 1857 

us all greatly. The country is superb, and it is so delightful, 
in these days of a civilisation that brings all things to one 
common level, to find a population simple and primitive, 
and still truly rustic, and regions not yet spoiled by contact 
with railways. Normandy is very pretty, and full for us of 
interesting reminiscences, as we regard it as the cradle of 
England.' 

In writing to Baron Stockmar the same day the Prince 



4 We made a very delightful run to Cherbourg and 
Alderney. Cherbourg is a gigantic work that gives one 
grave cause for reflection. The works at Alderney by way 
of counter- defence look childish. We were received by the 
natives of Normandy with great enthusiasm. An affinity of 
race between them and the English is still perceptible there.' 

What they had seen of Cherbourg, and of the uses to 
which it might be turned in the event of a war with 
France, made both the Queen and Prince tenfold more 
anxious, — and they had long been most anxious — about our 
means both on land and at sea for opposing any sudden 
descent upon our shores. Her Majesty accordingly lost no 
time in calling for detailed reports of the progress that had 
been made with the works of defence at Portsmouth and 
elsewhere which had been for some time under construction, 
of the number of ships in commission, and of the time 
necessary to man and equip the others for service. The 
Prince applied himself to this subject during the present 
autumn with more than his usual energy. The first step 
towards improvement was gained by the true state of affairs 
being ascertained, and the advantage to the country was 
again visible of having by the Queen's side a counsellor with 
the sagacity and firmness to select and call for details on 
which a policy could be based, and to direct the attention of 



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l*S7 BAD NEWS FROM INDIA. 123 

the Cabinet to results, which, in the exhausting toil of carry- 
ing on the business of their departments from day to day, 
might otherwise have been overlooked. How the Prince's 
services in this matter were appreciated by one of the ablest 
statesmen of the time may be seen from the following letter 
to him from Lord Clarendon, when two months after the 
return from Cherbourg, the various reports which had been 
called for by the Queen were brought under his lordship's 
notice : — 

1 1 have read these reports,' he wrote (23rd October) ' with 
great attention and with great regret, not unmixed, however, with 
satisfaction, as I believe that they will establish a starting point 
for improvements. No one responsible for the honour and safety 
of the country can read such an account of our shortcomings 
and unpreparedness without determining to place our only means 
of defence upon a better footing. I consider that by calling for 
specific returns, such as never were made before, your Royal 
Highness has got in the fine end of the wedge, and that it will 
be driven, home by the few more knocks which your Royal High, 
ness will not fail to give. When Lord Pal mere ton comes to 
town, I will privately but most urgently appeal to his sense of 
duty upon this vital question.' 

The Queen's and Prince's anxiety on this subject was not 
a little increased by further alarming news from India, which 
they found awaiting them on their return from France. 
The Prince's Diary at this time contains frequent allusions 
to their endeavours to impress upon the Ministry the neces- 
sity for making greater efforts than were on foot for sending 
reinforcements to India. Neither the Queen nor himself 
could get rid of the apprehension that the state of things 
there was likely to go from bad to worse, unless the full 
force of the British arm was put forth, and put forth quickly. 
The tidings of the next few weeks confirmed their worst 
fears, and dissipated the delusions of those who had treated 
the rising in India as involving no serious danger to our 



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124 PARLIAMENT PROROGUED. 1857 

hold upon the country, and requiring no extraordinary exer- 
tion to suppress. 

On the 27 th the Court returned to London for the Council 
for the Queen's Speech, and the opportunity was taken to 
discuss this all-important question personally with the 
leading members of the Cabinet. Next day Parliament was 
prorogued by Commission, and the Queen in her Speech was 
able to congratulate its members that the session, though a 
short one, had produced many Acts of great importance, 
including among others that for amending the Law of Divorce, 
which had been carried after much animated controversy in 
both Houses. 

The same day the Court left London for Balmoral, which 
was reached on the evening of the 29th. There the details 
awaited them of the destruction of General Wheeler and the 
garrison at Cawnpore, and of some of the ghastly incidents of 
Nana Sahib's treachery and cruelty. They also learned that 
General Havelock had been despatched to retrieve that dis- 
aster — a service in which he was to make his name * on fame's 
eternal bede-roll shine for aye,' — and that the Home Govern- 
ment had determined to raise fifteen instead of ten battalions, 
as formerly proposed, and to increase the numbers of the 
militia to be called out from 10,000 to 15,000. Not an hour 
too soon ; for within the next fortnight came the full tidings 
of the calamities at Cawnpore and Lucknow, of the continued 
resistance of Delhi, and the first intelligence of the spread of 
the mutiny to Southern India. 

Two days after the arrival at Balmoral (2nd September) 
the Queen wrote to the King of the Belgians : — 

' We are in sad anxiety about India, which engrosses all 
our attention. Troops cannot be raised largely or fast 
enough; and the horrors committed on the poor ladies, 
women and children, are unknown in these ages, and make 



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1857 THE INDIAN MUTINY. 125 

one's blood run cold. Altogether the whole is so much more 
distressing than the Crimea, where there was glory and 
honourable warfare, and where the poor women and children 
were safe. Then the distance and the difficulty of communi- 
cation are such an additional suffering to us all ! I know 
you will feel much for us. There i$ hardly a family that is 
not in sorrow and anxiety about their children, and in all 
ranks, India being the place where every one was anxious to 
establish a son.' 

On the 7th the Prince writes to his friend at Coburg, full 
of misgiving as to the means taken to grapple with the diffi- 
culty. The tidings of the spread of the mutiny to the South 
had not yet reached England : — 

' I have not hitherto written to you from the Highlands, 
where all is lovely and peaceful, and my only want frequent 
tidings that you are well. Unhappily this is not to be. I 
believe change of air and place would do you good, even 
were it only from Marisfeld to Coburg. Monotony of place is 
in your case, unfortunately, prejudicial, as in the struggle of 
the nerves with the body you require to support and back 
up the nerves in every way, and you are more susceptible to 
mental and spiritual influence than you are to medicine. 

4 You probably smile at my medical dissertation, but even 
if it only makes you do that, it will have done some good. 

' The Indian news continue very bad, and cause us much 
anxiety. Our military organisations for averting disasters 
so great are quite inadequate, and we have to bully and 
extort what is necessary from the Ministry bit by bit. 

'Palmerston is once more possessed by all his juvenile 
levity. It is the misfortune of all speakers in large assem- 
blies, that, because fluency and a certain patriotic tone 
produce a great effect there, and gain great applause, nay 
even political influence, they imagine they have mastered 

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126 INDIAN MUTINY. 1857 

the essentials of actual fact, which, however, give themselves 
no concern whatever about mere talk. The French Conven- 
tion and the Pauluskirche l are the latest and most striking 
illustrations. I cannot sit quietly and see such things.' 

Writing again upon the 12th, the Prince makes further 
allusion to the inadequacy of our military preparations : — 

'From India we are expecting a telegram hourly; the 
news it brings can scarcely be good. 

4 We are expending all the resources which are within our 
command. How these are to be replaced or made to answer 
the purpose is another question. 

4 We heard from Bertie yesterday from Chamounix; he 
had paid a visit to the Mer de Glace under the guidance of 
Albert Smith, who happened to be there, is well, and had 
walked twenty miles the previous day. 

4 Here we are literally washed away by the rain, which has 
been falling, more or less, all the time we have been here.' 

The i hourly expected ' telegram here mentioned realised 
the Queen and Prince's worst fears. It told that Delhi still 
held out, that the garrison immured in Lucknow was still 
unrelieved, and that several regiments had mutinied in the 
Bombay Presidency. The terrible story of the massacres at 
Cawnpore was also reported in all its ghastly horrors. The 
alarm throughout this country, an alarm mingled with fierce 
indignation, spread even to members of the Cabinet, who had 
hitherto taken the most sanguine view of the situation. 
More energetic measures of relief were set on foot, and at 
the same time Lord Palmerston, who, as a rule, was chary, 
and justly so, of the use of special days of fast and humilia- 
tion, proposed to the Archbishop of Canterbury that a day 

1 Where the sittings of the National German Parliament were held in 
1848-9. 



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i857 LETTER BY THE QUEEN. 127 

should be set apart for this purpose. 9 After acknowledging 
Lord Pahneraton's letter (15th- September) communicating 
what had been resolved on, Her Majesty, writing on the 
18th, says : — 

' She is glad that he should have suggested to the Arch- 
bishop a Sunday for the prayer. 

c The Indian news, upon every further development, justi- 
fies less and less the opinion that it is rather favourable 
than otherwise, and leading to the hope that affairs will soon 
take a favourable turn in India. 

4 It is evident from a comparison of the news with the 
map that, whereas hitherto the seat of the mutiny was Oude, 
Delhi, and the Upper Ganges, — to which localities all troops 
have been despatched — it has now broken out in their rear, 
cutting them off from the base of operation, viz., Calcutta, 
and that it has reached the gates of the seat of Government 
itself. On the other hand, it has moved down from Delhi in 
a south-westerly direction towards Bombay, and the defection 
of the first Bombay regiment gives serious cause for appre- 
hension as to the future of that army. The Queen cannot 
understand how a single Bengal regiment can be left undis- 
banded ; but from the news of new mutinies in the rear of 
our forces on the Ganges, it is quite clear that this must be 
so. Our troops are sure to remain victorious against the 
Sepoys in the open field, if numbers be not too dispropor- 
tionate, if they be not badly led, or physically reduced by 
sickness or fatigue ; the latter, however, being much to be 
apprehended. But the difficulty will be to get a proper 
" ensemble" into the military movements, and this will 
hardly be the case unless an army be formed at Calcutta 
strong enough to operate from thence with certainty upon 

* It was kept on the 7th of October, with great solemnity throughout the 
country, and announced to have been appointed 'in consideration of the 
grievous mutiny and disturbances which have broken out id India.' 

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128 LETTER BY THE QUEEN. 1857 

the parts of the country in revolt, and serving as a " point 
tfappui " for the scattered forces. Our reinforcements, 
dropping in one by one, run the risk of being cut up by 
being sent on to relieve the different stray columns in dis- 
tress. 

'When Lord Palmerston speaks of the reinforcements 
arriving which are to give a favourable turn to affairs, has 
he considered, that the first which were despatched by the 
Government to India (exclusive of the Chinese expedition of 
5,000 men diverted to it, and now there) will arrive only in 
October? The time lost in the arrangements, in taking up 
shipping, &c., brought their departure to July. There will 
be, therefore, two whole months, August and September, 
when the Indian Government will get no relief whatever, 
while fighting, marching, &c, lose to them often as much as 
500 men in a day. 

4 These are the considerations which make the Queen so 
anxious about early decisions and immediate steps at home ; 
for while we are putting off decisions in the vain hope that 
matters will mend, and in discussing the objections to diffe- 
rent measures, the mischief is rapidly progressing, and the 
time difficult to catch up again. . . . 

6 The Queen would wish Lord Palmerston to show this letter 
to the Cabinet.' 

The next intelligence from India was not more favourable. 
It told that General Havelock had for the second time been 
compelled to fall back without having relieved Lucknow, and 
that no satisfactory progress had been made in expelling the 
mutineers from Delhi. So general had the alarm become, that 
an intimation reached our Government that France was about 
to ask for leave to send out a considerable reinforcement of 
French troops for the protection of the French settlement at 
Pondicherry. It was thought better to make the offer of 



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1857 CRITICAL STATE OF INDIA. 129 

the necessary permission than to wait for the request to be 
made ; and, indeed, the Emperor of the French had shown 
throughout this time of trial a disposition so truly friendly as 
to merit this frankness of treatment* An offer of assistance 
to England in the form of two Belgian regiments was even 
made by the friendly government of Belgium. 8 England would 
not, however, have been so daunted by even greater perils, as to 
acknowledge that she could not fight her own battles alone. 
But having set her mind to do so, and, in the phrase used by 
Lord Palmerston at the time, to ' win off her own bat, 9 it 
was all the more necessary that effectual means should be 
adopted * to meet the greatest difficulties that any nation in 
ancient or modern times had ever had to contend against. 9 
The words just quoted occur in a letter (28th September) 
from Lord Clarendon to the Queen, in which he says : — 

' Lord Clarendon thinks that the complexion of the Indian 
news is decidedly unfavourable. The best that can be said of it 
is, that things appear to he on the whole stationary, which is all 
we can hope for until reinforcements arrive ; but it is horrible to 
think of the 1,000 Europeans shut up in Lucknow, and besieged 
by the monster Nana Sahib, short of provisions, and with no im- 
mediate prospect of relief.' 

Such was the state of suspense and uncertainty when the 
Prince wrote to Baron Stockmar on the last day of Sep- 
tember ;— 

c 1 hear that you have returned to Coburg, but not with 
the vigour and spirits which I had wished for you, and on 

9 This is mentioned in Mr. Evelyn Ashley's Life of Lord Palmereton, vol. 
ii. p. 140, and he says that ' some in places of authority appeared to favour 
the idea.' Certainly none whose authority would have been of any avail. Lord 
Palmerston said, with his usual sound English feeling, in writing to Lord 
Clarendon (29th September) : ' The more I think of it the more I feel it is 
necessary for our standing and reputation in the world, that we should put 
down this mutiny and restore order by our own means, and I am perfectly 
certain that we can do it, and that we shall do it' 

VOL. IV. K 

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13© LETTER BY THE PRINCE. 1857 

which I had confidently reckoned. Would I might be with 
you for a while, to talk oyer many topics in which we both 
take an equal interest. Under present circumstances we 
can scarcely count upon finding you at Windsor when we 
arrive, which will be on the 16th. If your son carries out 
the project on which we have set our hearts, of meeting us 
there at that time, he will give us news of you. Perhaps he 
may be able to fetch you from Coburg at a later date, for I 
cannot forego the hope of having you with us before Christ- 
mas and at Vicky's marriage. 

4 We are tortured by the events in India, which are truly 
frightful ! The distance and the double government of Grown 
and Company make all remedial measures extremely difficult 
and slow. Our first considerable reinforcements will not 
arrive in India before the middle of October ; our latest 
intelligence thence is dated August. What may not have 
happened in the interval ! It has already been found neces- 
sary to disarm a leading Madras regiment. Three Bombay 
regiments have mutinied ; the whole Bengal army, between 
80 and 90,000 men, is in arms against us, and in possession 
of the arsenals, &c. On the other hand, our regiments are 
dispersed in companies, in order to maintain tranquillity and 
England's prestige at all points, to enforce payment of the 
revenue, and to protect or to save the lives of Europeans. 
The individual columns have to contend with tremendous 
difficulties. • • .' 

The friendly disposition of the Emperor of the French was 
further shown by the way he dealt with our proposal .to send 
a portion of the troops to India through Egypt. Lord Cow- 
ley informed Count Walewski that we intended to apply to 
the Porte for leave to do this. Count Walewski at once said 
that he was sure the Emperor would be glad to hear it. 
The Emperor was then away at Stuttgart, to meet thq 

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1857 FRIENDLINESS OF FRENCH EMPEROR. 131 

Emperor of Russia, but a few days afterwards the French 
Ambassador in London, Baron de Malaret, read to Lord 
Clarendon a despatch from Count Walewski, stating, as Lord 
Clarendon wrote to the Queen the same day (8th October): — 

' That the Emperor won Id cause the Saltan and the Pasha to be 
informed of the pleasure with which he would hear of facilities 
being afforded to your Majesty's troops in passing through 
Egypt, and that he was quite willing that they should pass through 
France, if it would be any convenience or likely to accelerate 
their arrival in India. This is certainly a friendly proposal, as 
the Emperor must know that it would not be very popular in 
France. Lord C. told Baron de Malaret that it could not fail to 
be gratifying to your Majesty, but that for various reasons it 
was not probable that your Majesty's Government would avail 
themselves of the Emperor's generous offer.' 

The same hearty interest in the measures taken by Eng- 
land to re-establish the tranquillity of India was shown by 
the Emperor throughout. When the tidings of the capture 
of Delhi on the 30th of September reached Europe, he was 
among the first to congratulate the Queen, which he did by the 
following telegram from Compi&gne : — Octobre 26, 1857. — 
ISImp&ratrice et moi, nous fSlicitons cordidlement 8a 
MajesU de la prise de Delhi. 



x 2 

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132 



CHAPTEE LXXXL 

The interview between the Emperor of Russia and the 
Emperor of the French, which the Prince mentions in his 
letter of the 1 8th of May (supra, p. 52), that Baron Brunnow 
was busily arranging for, took place at Stuttgart on the 25th 
of September. The agents of each Government gave out that 
the meeting had been sought for by the other. However this 
mi^ht be, the fact was indisputable, that the Czar had come 
to Germany to make the personal acquaintance of him, to 
whom the title 4 Mon Fr^re,' due to a sovereign by the 
courtesy of European Courts, had formerly been ostentatiously 
refused by his father and himself. Not only so, but the 
Empress of All the Russia* came a day after the Czar to 
Stuttgart to meet the Emperor of the French, who had 
refused to go to Darmstadt to be introduced to her. In all 
this there was enough to make the political world busy with 
conjecture, and curiosity was still further excited when it 
became known that the Emperor of Austria had a few days 
afterwards met the Emperor of Russia, having gone to Weimar 
for the purpose. * What all these proceedings have resulted 
in, 9 says the Prince in his Diary, ( nobody knows, neither will 
it be very easy to discover.' 

Nevertheless, not many days elapsed before our Government 
were in possession of pretty full details of all that had taken 
place. The parvenu Emperor, thrown, for the first timet 
into the midst of the royalties of the Almanack de Qotha, 
had distinguished himself by great self-possession and dignity, 

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1857 MEETING OF EMPERORS. 133 

bearing himself, as one of the shrewdest female observers of her 
time said, ( like a thorough gentleman/ holding his own, and 
showing no eagerness to seize at the advances made to him, 
which might well have turned the steadiest head. He was 
found to be impervious to all inducements to a breach of the 
English alliance, and the repeated assurances given by Prince 
Gortschakoff, who accompanied his master, to those around 
him in the words, < Nous sommes trte-contentsj were con- 
strued, as such assurances were certain to be, in precisely the 
opposite sense. In fact, the meeting had been productive of 
no political results. 

There was more of triumph for Russia in having brought 
the Emperor of Austria to seek an interview at a court which 
had recently been loudly Russian in its sympathies, with the 
Sovereign who had throughout the Crimean struggles made 
bitter complaint against Austria's ingratitude. Prince 
Gortschakoff did not conceal his satisfaction at this achieve- 
ment, and took care to protest that the meeting had been 
conceded only on the Emperor of Austria's request, with the 
object, first, of setting at rest the mind of Germany, which 
was disquieted about the interview at Stuttgart, and next 
of making the Emperor of Austria aware, that from that 
hour the Treaty of Paris was a dead letter {'pour f aire bien 
comprendre cb FEmpereur cFAutriche, que dteormais ce 
traits est lettre movie '). In the interview in which these 
words were used, which Prince Gortschakoff knew would be 
transmitted to Lord Clarendon, he asked his companion what 
he thought of India. The reply was, that the success of the 
English was certain, and that they would afterwards be more 
powerful there than ever. 'This is my opinion, too,' said 
Prince Gortschakoff, and went on to declare that ' he loved the 
English, their energy, their constancy, even their institutions.' 

In speaking the same day (25th September) to a very 
distinguished person, extracts from whose Journal are pre- 

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134 AT BALMORAL. 1857 

served among the Prince Consort's papers, Prince Gortscha- 
koff said : 4 Nous ne sommes pour rien dans Us malheurs 
des Indesy which, says the Diarist, ' shows that they are/ — an 
application of the aphorism qui tf excuse s'aecuse, not likely 
to have been rashly arrived at by the acute political observer 
to whom Prince Crortschakoff's assurance was given. 

Amid all the anxieties caused by the state of affairs both 
in Europe and in India, the Queen and Prince were being 
daily reminded that the time was fast approaching when a 
great void would take place in their family circle. The 
marriage of the Crown Prince had been fixed for the end of 
the ensuing January, and the Princess, as a child of the home, 
was now about to bid adieu to the dear familiar scenes and 
associations of Balmoral. 4 Vicky,' the Prince wrote to the 
Dowager Duchess of Coburg, * suffers under the feeling that 
every spot she visits she has to greet for the last time as 
home. As I look on, the "Johanna sagt euch Lebewohl! " 
of the Maid of Orleans comes frequently into my mind. 1 It 
has been my lot to go through the same experiences.' ' 

Again, in a letter written to the same correspondent, the 
day the Court left Balmoral (14th October) the Prince 



'The departure from here will be a great trial to us 
all, especially to Vicky, who leaves it for good and all ; and 
the good simple Highlanders, who are very fond of us, are 
constantly saying to her, and often with tears, " I suppose 

1 The -words quoted by the Prince occur in Schiller's Maid of Orleans, 
act i. sc. 4 : — 

Farewell, ye hills, ye meadows that I love, 
Ye quiet homely valleys, fere ye weU ! 
No more among you will Johanna roam, 
Johanna bids you evermore Farewell ! 

* In the same letter the Prince says : * Has — — decided what is to be the 
young man's occupation ? Without a vocation man is incapable of complete 
development and real kappine**. 1 



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1857 ILLNESS OF KING OF PRUSSIA. 135 

we shall never see you again ! " which naturally makes her 
feel still more keenly. . . . 

'The Indian news are not worse, and therefore better; 
it is, however, a fearful state of things*. Since the Polish 
revolution no army has mutinied against its own govern- 
ment ; in the present case it is 200,000 men strong, against 
whom 24,000 Englishmen have to maintain a kingdom of 
200 millions of men of different races and religions ! The 
task is well nigh superhuman, but it will be nobly per- 
formed.' 

Before leaving Balmoral the Prince kept Baron Stockmar 
apprised of what was taking place in the Boyal home in the 
following letter : — 

' We leave this dear place to-morrow for the south, and 
my heart impels me to write to you once more before our 
departure, although, nay, because I have not heard from you 
for so long. The first day we go to Haddo House, to pay 
good old Aberdeen a visit, at which he is greatly pleased. 
On the 16th we are to be at Windsor, where we expect 
Fritz of Prussia on the 17th. How that will be now, con- 
sidering the serious illness of the King, 8 we do not know. 
I confess, that although we can ascertain little directly as to 
the King's state, I have an impression that his dissolution 
may be expected. His case strongly resembles that of poor 
Charles [Prince Leiningen] last autumn. If he dies, great 
changes will ensue in Prussia. What shape things may take, 
it is impossible for any one to predict, not even those who are 
at the head of affairs. Even on the position of our young 
couple the influence will be considerable. 

' The tenor of our Indian news is not worse, and that is 
something gained, for the first reinforcements of the troops, 

* The King of Prussia bad been seized with an attack of congestion of the 
brain a few days before. 

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136 HAVELOCirS VICTORIES. 1857 

both from the Cape and from here, are beginning to arrive, 
and the cooler season will soon set in. I therefore cherish 
the hope that the worst is over, although there are hard 
struggles before us yet* Begiments are still constantly pass- 
ing over to the mutineers, which had volunteered to be led 
against them. They fight very bravely on our side, but all 
at once massacre their officers, and take up their position on 
the other side. Here recruiting goes on well — 1,200 men 
per week. 

* The Prince of Wales is to arrive at Windsor on the 20th. 
All the reports about his tour and its influence upon himself 
are of the most cheering kind. 

6 Alfred goes to Alverbank near Portsmouth 4 when we get 
back. For Arthur I have engaged a Captain Elphinstone of 
the Engineers, who promises well, 5 but is not to come till the 
beginning of 1859, when Gibbs leaves Bertie, and an altera- 
tion in his position takes place. Who is to succeed him 
with Bertie, we have not yet been able to decide.' * 

On the 16th the Court returned to Windsor, the Queen 
and Prince having passed a night at Haddo House, on the 
way, upon a visit, long promised, to Lord Aberdeen. Better 
news from India were now beginning to arrive. The capture 
of Delhi on the 20th of September was announced, and a fresh 
series of brilliant victories by General Havelock. On the 
24th the Prince writes to Baron Stockmar : — 4 The news from 
India are decidedly better, that is to say, the mischief is not 
increasing, while our resources for averting it are at work on 
the spot. Our poor troops have again behaved wonderfully, 

4 To carry on his naral studies. Alverbank was the house of the late Bight 
Hon. John Wilson Groker. 

6 Now Sir Howard Elphinstone, K.C.B. He had greatly distinguished 
himself at the siege of Sebastopol. He superintended the education of the 
Duke of Connangbt np to manhood. 

* When Mr. Gibbs retired in 1858, Lord Elgin's brother, General the 
Honourable Bobert Bruce, was appointed the Prince's Governor. 



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i«57 BARON STOCKMAR. 137 

everywhere. General Havelock has fought nine battles, 
frequently with 800 men against 10,000, in which he 
captured 66 guns in the open field.' 

The presence of the Baron in England to assist in the 
arrangements for the approaching marriage of the Princess 
Royal had been confidently looked for. But the Baron was 
seriously ill, and unable to travel. What regret this caused 
in the Royal household may be seen from another passage 
in the same letter : — 

' Your son arrived safely yesterday evening. Delighted as 
I was to see him again, it gave me a spasm at the heart to 
find him alone and without you in your old room, which he 
occupies in your absence. The feeling must have been 
general, for little Leopold said to Miss Hildyard, u I have 
seen Baron Stockmar, but it is not my old Baron." To her 
question, whether he would not write to you, he replied, 
" Yes, but he won't remember me." Your son, I grieve to 
say, gives no better account of your state, and especially of 
your general health (Wofdfiihlungy 

The hope of seeing the Baron at the marriage was still 
cherished. But it was destined to be disappointed, greatly 
to the chagrin of the Princess Royal, who returned warmly 
the affection entertained by the kind old man for herself, as 
well as of the parents, who had the best reasons for knowing 
how precious his counsels would have been to the Princess in 
preparing her for the new sphere in which her future life 
was to be spent. 

Early in November the Queen and Prince sustained a 
loss which threw a deep shadow for a time over their home 
life, in the sudden death at Claremont of their first-cousin 
the Duchess of Nemours. A princess of the house of Saxe- 
Coburg-Gotha, the Duchess, who was born on the 16th of 
February, 1822, 'had since her infancy been the playmate 

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138 DEATH OF DUCHESS OF NEMOURS. 1857 

and intimate friend of the Prince Consort. The peculiar 
sweetness of her temper, her deep and affectionate feelings, 
her strong and sterling sense, her kind and loving heart, 
had endeared her to both.' She was married in April 1840, 
to the second son of the King of the French ; ( and, in that 
high position, she won the hearts of even those who, in that 
sceptical country, are lukewarm in acknowledging and ad- 
miring virtue and beauty, when they adorn a royal brow.' 7 

On the 28th of October the Duchess had been delivered 
of a girl, and her recovery had appeared to be steady and 
rapid. She had, however, *a presentiment of her death, 
against which she fought with great courage and decision of 
character. When, on the tenth day after her confinement, 
the doctor congratulated her on the restoration of her health, 
she said to him : "Ah, Docteur, ne chantons pas victovre 
trop tdt" ' The same day she was seen by the Queen. On the 
10th of November, the Prince, who had been out for the 
morning shooting at Bagshot, found on returning to Windsor 
Castle a message from the Due de Nemours awaiting him 
with the tidings ' that Victoire had suddenly dropped dead at 
nine o'clock the same morning while making her toilette.' 
(Prince's Diary.) The Castle was full of guests. They all 
left at once. The official reception of the Siamese Am- 
bassadors, appointed for that day, was postponed. This 
latter fact was announced in the Court Circular, which 
also told, to use the words of M. Van de Weyer, 'that 
during the celebration of the Princess Royal's birthday, the 
last which is likely to take place before her departure from 
her native country, the usual commemoration had been 
curtailed of all its accustomed festivities. But the public 

' The words cited in the text are the words of one who knew the Duchess well 
—the late M. Silrain Van de Weyer, in a letter to the Morning Post (20th 
November, 1857), written with the delicacy of touch and charm* of style of 
which that distinguished and most loveable man was a great master. The 
letter is reprinted in M. Van de Weyer's Opuscules, vol. ir. London, 1876. 



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1 857 LETTER BY THE PRINCE. 139 

little suspected how deep has been the grief concealed under 
these formal announcements. 9 

When the sad intelligence reached Windsor Castle the 
Queen was in the act of writing to King Leopold. Here are 
the words in which the letter was continued : — 

c So far I had written when the awful news from Clare- 
mont reached us. Dear Uncle, what dreadful recollections 
this will bring back to your mind ! What a fatality seems 
to hang over poor Claremont, particularly on those occasions ; 
what a fate seems to pursue that unhappy family ! Albert 
feels it most deeply ; he had a most brotherly affection for 
her, grew up with her, and she was so fond of him, always 
brightening up and laughing when she saw him, and they 
talked over old times. Since his poor papa's and grand- 
mama's death, I have not seen him so overcome, so cast 
down, as he was yesterday, when he returned from the house 
of mourning, having witnessed he heart-rending despair of 
that poor unhappy Nemours, and the cold but beautiful 
form of our loved Victoire. We were like sisters, bore the 
same name, married the same year, our children are the 
same age ; there was in short a similarity between us, which 
since 1839 united us closely and tenderly. 

4 Now one of us is gone — passed as a rose full-blown and 
faded — from this earth to eternity, there to rest in peace and 

It was not till the 13th that the Prince could command 
sufficient composure to give to his friend, who had witnessed 
at Claremont in November 1817 a catastrophe no less sad, 
the full particulars of the Duchess's death : — 

' The fresh disaster to which eventful November has given 
rise in eventful Claremont will have caused you deep emo- 
tion. I thought at once of you and of the old wounds, which 
the similarity of the circumstances would re-open in your 



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140 DEATH OF THE DUCHESS 1857 

heart, just forty years and four days since poor Uncle lost 
his darling wife in child-bed. Nemours has lost his dear, to 
us all 80 dear, Victoire ! in the room nearly above that in 
which the Princess Charlotte died. 

4 Her confinement passed off well on the 28th of last 
month, and every one was doubly rejoiced at this, because 
Victoire had herself entertained the gloomiest misgivings, 
and constantly expressed her conviction that she would be 
borne to the grave. The old Queen and Nemours visited us 
here, and even expressed their joy, that now the curse was 
taken from their house, that a healthy child had been born 
at Claremont, and that the mother was in excellent health. 
On the 7th, after the lapse of nine days, Victoria visited 
Victoire. Not only had not the slightest symptom of indis- 
position been observed, but everything had taken its regular 
course. The Paris doctor had declared her convalescent, and 
in leaving reminded her how foolish her apprehensions had 
been. She replied, " R ne faut pas triompher trop tdt." 
Victoria found her looking aged and drawn, and not like a 
patient who was making a rapid recovery, and ascribed this 
to the French treatment. On the morning of the 10th 
about half-past nine (on the 13th day therefore), having 
been coiffie, she was seated upon the bed and had told her 
dresser, who wanted to rub her feet, to cease doing so, as 
they were quite warm, and now she was quite well, this as a 
rule was no longer necessary, and that she was allowed to get 
up the next day. They asked her if she would like to see 
the new dress which she was to wear the following day. 
** Certainly," she replied, " car demain je me ferai belle." 
She had the dress in one hand, when suddenly she exclaimed, 

"OA, mon Dieu, madarae " She was unable to finish 

the sentence, her head fell on one side, and life had left her t 
Poor Nemours was reading The Times to his mother in the 
room below, and alarmed by the footsteps of the women over- 
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1857 OF NEMOURS. 141 

head, rushed upstairs, and found her hand already growing 
cold! 

4 1 hurried oyer that afternoon to the house of mourning, 
and words cannot picture the woeful spectacle which met me 
there. Nemours quite crushed and stunned; the body of 
good dear Victoire pale and rigid, but like an angel of beauty, 
her glorious hair falling in waves over her bosom, and in the 
adjoining room the baby in rosy unconscious slumber. I was 
deeply moved, and not less so was Victoria, who drove over 
with me the next day. Victoire was the playfellow of my 
youth, she was Victoria's friend from girlhood; goodness, 
gentleness, unassuming sweetness, and love itself! To- 
morrow her body will be laid in the little vault at Weybridge 
beside that of King Louis Philippe ! I shall join in paying 
her the last honours. 

' The relaxing treatment, so antagonistic to our English 
principles, which, instead of lending support and strength to 
the frame, rather disarms and makes it unfit for the struggle 
it has to encounter, may very likely have contributed to the 
catastrophe. 

' I have gone into all these details, because I know they 
will interest you. Misery like this makes us doubly grateful 
to (rod, who has hitherto shielded us so graciously. 

( The latest intelligence from Delhi and Lucknow leads us 
to anticipate a happy issue to our struggles. Still we have 
to mourn a fearful number of victims. 

( Fritz is to come to us on the 16th or 17th ; no change 
has been made as to the marriage day. Your son makes 
himself extremely useful. 9 

The profound emotion of the Prince at the funeral of the 
Duchess was observed by all the bystanders, and, when at 
the last and most affecting part of the funeral ceremony, M. 
Van de Weyer writes, 4 a wreath of immortelles was deposited 

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i 4 2 DUCHESS OF NEMOURS. 1857 

by an equerry on the coffin, everybody felt whose hand and 
heart had prepared that last and touching tribute to departed 
worth and beauty, so prematurely snatched, by the inscrutable 
will of God, from a world where so much good had been 
quietly achieved by their possessor. 9 

The Prince's letter drew the following rejoinder from 
Baron Stockmar, in whom ' the years that bring the philo- 
sophic mind' had not deadened his native tenderness of 
heart : — 

' The recent event at Claremont has touched old wounds, 
and thrown me into a state of great depression. In youth, 
though we may be inclined to think the transitoriness and 
nothingness of earthly life is dwelt upon in the Bible too 
sternly and too exclusively, this view does not last into old 
age, which, in its juster appreciation of these matters, is in 
perfect harmony with the expressions of Scripture. 

' For this mood of mind, which is sure to force itself upon 
every thinking and feeling man as he grows old, there is 
only one solace, and this young people should secure and lay 
up for themselves, by doing the Good and Eight which every 
day places before them to do.' 8 

To this letter the Prince replied (28th November) as 
follows : — 

* I was greatly pleased to see your handwriting again, and 
to observe in it all its former firmness. Let me conclude 
from this, that you are better. 

* That the calamity at Claremont would move you greatly, 

• These words recall a beautiful passage in one of the letters of Stockmar s 
last years (Denkwurdigkeiim, p. 54) : * Were I now to be asked by any young 
man just entering into life, What is the chief good for which it behoves a man 
to strive ? my only answer would be, Love and Friendship ! Were he to ask 
me, What is a man's most priceless possession ? I must answer, The conscious- 
ness of having loved and sought the truth — of having yearned for the truth 
for its own sake ! All else is either mere vanity or a sick man's dream. 1 



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r«57 FINANCIAL CRISIS IN ENGLAND. 143 

I was sore. It is one of those incomprehensible events, to 
the reality of which time can alone habituate us. . . .' 

He then refers to the great financial crisis, which made 
the autumn of this year memorable in the commercial world, 
and led to the temporary suspension of the provisions of the 
Bank Charter Act of 1844. Failure had followed failure, 
not only of private firms, but of provincial banks in Scotland 
as well as England, which had hitherto borne a high repu- 
tation. The total liabilities of these were computed at 
upwards of forty millions. The rate of interest at the Bank 
of England, which on the 8th of October was 5 \ per cent., 
had risen by the 9th of November to 9 per cent. By the 
1 1th of that month the bullion in the same Bank was reduced 
to a little over seven millions, while its notes in circulation 
and liabilities on deposits and otherwise were above sixty 
millions. To meet the emergency the Government authorised 
the Bank to extend their circulation by two millions beyond 
the limits authorised by the Act of 1844, and intimated that 
they would propose to Parliament on its meeting a Bill 
of Indemnity for this violation of the law. The effect of 
this step in restoring confidence was such that the Bank 
required to put into circulation only 928,0002. beyond its 
legal limits, and even this sum was replaced, and a consi- 
derable reserve established, by the 1st of December. Public 
confidence was further strengthened by the intimation, that 
Parliament was to be forthwith summoned to consider the 
financial condition of the country. The Prince seems to 
have formed a just estimate of the true causes of the crisis, 
and of its probable results. He writes : — 

4 Bad times are approaching. Bankruptcies are spreading, 
thousands of artisans are turned into the streets through the 
consequent stoppage of works. Want and discontent are 
very visibly on the increase in manufacturing districts. In 

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144 FINANCIAL CRISIS. 1857 

America things are even worse, and they will soon react upon 
the Continent. The financial difficulty is not so great, I 
think, as might be supposed from its effects. Long pros- 
perity had made all bankers, speculators, and capitalists 
careless, and now they are being unpleasantly reminded of 
natural laws, which have been violated, and are reasserting 
themselves. 

1 M. Fould was here for a conference with the Barings. 
He was to have come to us, but unluckily was called away 
sooner than he expected. Persigny's description of Fould's 
views and of the state of France is too much mixed up with 
his own theories and extravagances to be relied upon. 

« Parliament assembles on Thursday, and then light will 
be thrown upon the question from every side. We go to 
the opening. Fritz and Vicky will be present. Fritz leaves 
us the same evening. 

* Your son is well and in his usefulness I recognise the 
sacrifice you have made in letting us have him.' 

Parliament was opened by the Queen in person on the 3rd 
of December. But it had little light to throw upon the 
causes of the financial crisis, which was in a great measure 
due, in this as in almost every case, to reckless trading or 
speculations upon other men's means on the one hand, and 
on the other to the worse than short-sighted credulity of 
bankers and capitalists in granting facilities for what was in 
fact wholesale gambling. The Act of Indemnity was passed. 
Members had no inclination to enter upon the other business 
shadowed out in the Queen's Speech, and they were set free 
on the 12th until the 4th of February following. Two 
days before the prorogation the Prince wrote to Baron 
Stockmar:— 

* Parliament is sitting, and bored, but it will be dispersed 
again on the 12th. 

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1 857 INDIAN AFFAIRS. 145 

* The money crisis slumbers, but for all that there is no 
symptom of a change for the better. Mr. Bates maintains, 
that it is the result of the precious metals going out of cir- 
culation, which have been locked tip in enterprises, and 
more particularly in the making of railways, and can only 
find their way back upon the market slowly and by ckcuitous 
means. In America 3,000 miles of railways will have been 
constructed in two years, which should have been spread over 
twelve.' 

The Queen's Speech had stated that the affairs of India 
would require the most serious consideration of Parliament, 
and recommended them to its earnest attention. In the 
debate on the Address Mr. Disraeli complained of the am- 
biguity of this language, and called upon the Government 
to make a frank avowal of their intentions with regard to 
the future administration of India. To this appeal Lord 
Palmerston did not then reply. Nevertheless he had some 
time before arranged with his Cabinet for a measure which 
would effectually carry out the very policy pressed upon 
them by Mr. Disraeli in the debate of the 27th of July 
(supra, p. 89) of ' drawing closer the relations between the 
population of India and the sovereign Queen Victoria.' In 
the middle of October Lord Palmerston wrote to the Queen, 
that 4 the inconvenience and difficulty of administering the 
Government of a vast country on the other side of the globe 
by means of two Cabinets, the one responsible to the Crown 
and Parliament, the other only responsible to the holders 
of India stock, meeting for a few hours, three or four times in 
a year, had been shown by the events of this year to be no 
longer tolerable. He proposed, therefore, to prepare for the 
next session of Parliament a measure for abolishing the 
existing state of things, and for placing the government of 
India for the future under the exclusive control of the Crown 

VOL. IV. L 



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i 4 6 TRANSFER TO THE CROWN 1857 

and Parliament, * like any other part of Her Majesty's do- 
minions.' 'There would of course,' he added, 'be much 
opposition on the part of all persons connected with the 
India Company, and the opposition in Parliament might 
take up their cause ; the matter, therefore, will require to 
be well weighed before any recommendation on the subject 
can be submitted for your Majesty's consideration.' 

Lord Palmerston took up the question with the greatest 
energy, and no pains were spared to obtain all the information 
necessary to guide the Cabinet in settling the principles on 
which legislation should be based. It was discussed by him 
personally with the Queen and Prince in the beginning of 
November, but only on the 17th of December was he able to 
lay before Her Majesty the heads of the arrangement for the 
future government of India, which the Committee of the 
Cabinet had agreed to recommend. In framing the measure, 
which was subsequently submitted to Parliament, Lord Pal- 
merston courted the opinion of the Prince on many points 
of detail, and he was not backward in acknowledging the 
advantage which it derived from the Prince's suggestions. 

Meanwhile the same despatches which were now bringing 
news of the steady progress that was being made in putting 
down the rebellion in India told of a growing feeling of 
intolerant rancour on the part of the Europeans against 
the native population, which was causing great uneasiness 
and apprehension to the local Indian Government: — 

'There is a rabid and indiscriminate vindictiveness abroad/ 
Lord Canning wrote on the 25th of September to the Queen, 
* even amongst many who ought to set a better example, which 
it is impossible to contemplate without a feeling of shame for 
oue's countrymen. Not one man in ten seems to think that the 
hanging and shooting of forty or fifty thousand mutineers, be- 
sides other rebels, can be otherwise than practicable and right ; 
nor does it occur to those who talk and write most upon the 
matUr, that for the Sovereign of England to hold and govern 

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1857 OF GOVERNMENT OF INDIA. 147 

India without employing, and to a great degree trusting, natives, 
both in civil and military service, is simply impossible.' 

More he added, that was little to the credit of those who 
were illustrating on so large a scale the aphorism that ' fear 
is always cruel,' regardless of the numerous instances of the 
kindness and generosity of both Hindoos and Mohammedans, 
which had somewhat brightened the miserable story of the 
last eight months. He then added : — 

* To those whose hearts have been torn by the foul barbarities 
inflicted upon those dear to them, any degree of bitterness 
against the natives may be excused. No man will dare to judge 
them for it. But the cry is raised loudest by those who have 
been sitting quietly in their homes from the beginning, and have 
suffered little from the convulsions around them, unless it be in 
pocket. It is to be feared, that the feeling of exasperation will 
be a great impediment in the way of restoring tranquillity and 
good order, even after signal retribution shall have been deli- 
berately measured out to all chief offenders.' 

This letter did not reach the Queen till November. In 
replying to it on the 9th of that month Her Majesty said, in 
language which merits the widest record : — 

6 Lord Canning will easily believe how entirely the Queen 
shares his feelings of sorrow and indignation at the unchristian 
spirit, shown, alas ! also to a great extent here by the public, 
towards Indians in general, and towards Sepoys vrithout dwcri- 
mination ! It is, however, not likely to last, and comes from 
the horror produced by the unspeakable atrocities perpetrated 
against the innocent women and children, which make one's 
blood run cold and one's heart bleed ! For the perpetrators 
of these awful horrors no punishment can be severe enough, 
and sad as it is, stem justice must be dealt out to all the 
guilty: 

4 But to the nation at large — to the peaceable inhabitants — 
to the many kind and friendly natives who have assisted us, 

1-2 

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148 LETTER BY THE QUEEN 1857 

sheltered the fugitives, and been faithful and true — there 
should be shown the greatest kindness. They should know 
that there is no hatred to a brown skin — none; but the 
greatest wish on their Queen's part to see them happy, 
contented, and flourishing. 

' We are delighted to hear such good accounts of Sir Colin 
Campbell, to whom we ask Lord Canning to remember us 
most kindly. We can well imagine his delight at seeing his 
gallant and splendid 93rd, whom we saw at Gosport in June 
just before they left.' 

It will not be out of place here to cite the letter to the 
gallant soldier to whom this cordial message was sent, written 
by the Queen a few weeks later (19th January, 1858), when 
the tidings of the victories of himself, and of those who, along 
with him, had upheld the honour of the British name, had 
come to set the hearts of their countrymen at home com- 
paratively at rest : — 

4 The Queen must give utterance herself to the feelings of 
pride and satisfaction with which she has learned of the 
glorious victories which Sir Colin Campbell, and the heroic 
troops which he has under his command, have obtained over 
the mutineers. The manner in which Sir Colin has conducted 
all the operations, and his rescue of that devoted band of 
heroes and heroines at Lucknow (which brought comfort and 
relief to so many, many anxious hearts), are beyond all praise. 

6 The Queen has had many proofs already of Sir Colin's 
devotion to his Sovereign and his country, and he has now 
greatly added to that debt of gratitude which both owe to 
him. But Sir Colin must bear one reproof from his Queen, 
and that is, that he exposes himself too much. His life is 
most precious, and she entreats that he will neither put 
himself where his noble spirit would urge him to be — fore- 
most in danger — nor fatigue himself so as to injure his 



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1 857 TO SIR COLIN CAMPBELL. 149 

health. In this anxious wish the Prince most earnestly 
joins, as well as in all the Queen's previous expressions. 

4 That so many gallant and brave and distinguished men, 
beginning with one whose name will ever be remembered 
with pride, viz. General Havelock, should have fallen, is a 
great grief to the Queen ! To all European as well as native 
troops, who have fought so nobly and so gallantly, and 
amongst whom the Queen is rejoiced to see the 93rd, the 
Queen wishes Sir Colin to convey the expression of her great 
admiration and gratitude. 

' The Queen cannot conclude without sending Sir Colin 
the congratulations and good wishes of our dear daughter, 
the Princess Royal, who is in a fortnight to leave her native 
land. 

6 And now, with the fervent wish that the God of Battles 
may ever attend and protect Sir Colin and his noble army, 
the Queen concludes.' 



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i5o 



CHAPTER LXXXIL 

Throughout the month of December the Prince was busy 
with the preparations for the approaching marriage of the 
Crown Princess. Writing at the close of the year to the 
Dowager Duchess of Coburg, he gives a hint of the hidden 
pain which was at his heart while arranging for the reception 
of the numerous princely guests who had intimated their 
intention of being present to witness that which was to him 
so solemn a ceremony. 

'The last year,' he says, 'has again brought so much 
trouble with it that one is quite glad to leave it behind. The 
new year begins for us with the separation from a beloved 
daughter, which will be especially painful to me. I do not, 
however, let any hint of this be seen, and I rejoice for her in 
the prospect of a happy future. 

4 1 hope she may soon be able to present herself to you 
in person, and that you may judge her with indulgence. 
This will be especially necessary for her in Germany, where 
everything is so new to her, and in Berlin, where much will 
be so difficult. Heaven will be her stay. 

'We have innumerable visitors, and to find room for 
them all in a very limited palace will be a real feat of 
dexterity. If I succeed in doing this, I may take a pro- 
fessional tour as a conjuror, for the countless bouquets from 
Herr Dobler's hat are not more remarkable than the Princes 
without number in Buckingham Palace. 

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1857 ARRIVAL OF VISITORS. 151 

' Yesterday we saw Lavradio, 1 who has come back from 
his wooing expedition. He was sorry he could not take 
Gotha by the way, where he has not been since he was there 
as suitor on behalf of the mother. How far back this remini- 
scence carries us! Papa, Uncle Ferdinand, Uncle Mens- 
dorff, Charles, Linette, who were all together, now sleep with 
the dead.' 

The cloud which had hung over England during the latter 
half of 1857 was happily, in a great measure, dispelled before 
the opening days of 1858. The worst of the commercial panic 
was over, and the tidings from India showed that the rebellion 
was being gradually stamped out. Delhi was once more in our 
possession, the gallant force so long immured in Lucknowhad 
been relieved, and the full details of the courage and en- 
durance with which they had kept their ground, and of the 
splendid valour by which their deliverers had made their 
way to them, and covered their retreat, had filled the hearts 
of all at home with gratitude to heaven, and pride in men 
who had more than maintained the * dreaded name' of 
British soldiers for discipline and courage. * There is nothing 
like the defence of Lucknow in history,' Lord Canning wrote 
(11th December, 1857) to Mr. Vernon Smith, then Secretary 
of the Board of Control, i except Numantia and Saragossa." 
And in every home in England men's eyes had kindled as 
they read the words of Sir Colin Campbell's general order of 
the 23rd of November, in which he had told how ' all ranks 
of a force, hastily assembled, fatigued by forced marches, but 
animated by a common feeling of determination to accom- 
plish the duty before them,' had won the ground, the posses- 

1 First Minister of the King of Portugal. Ho had been at the Prince of 
Hohenzollern's seat near Diisseldorf, arranging for the approaching' marriage 
of the King with the Princess Stephanie. He had acted in a similar capacity 
In the case of the marriage, to which the Prince alludes, of the King's mother. 
Dona Maria da Gloria, to Prince Ferdinand of Saxe-Cobnrg-Kohary, in 1836. 



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152 GENERAL HAVELOCK. 1858 

nion of which was necessary to enable the beleaguered garrison 
to retire with safety, i by fighting as hard as it ever fell to 
the lot of the Commander-in-Chief to witness,' and had 
spoken of the storming of two of the forts as feats ' which 
had never been surpassed in daring.' On the 9th of January 
the safe arrival at Allahabad of all the women, children, and 
invalids, who had escaped from Lucknow, was known through 
the telegraph. The same telegram announced the signal 
defeat at Cawnpore by Sir Colin Campbell, on the 6th of 
December, of the rebels under Nana Sahib, to the number of 
25,C00, with the capture of all their guns and ammunition.* 
Much had yet to be done to bring back the country to a 
state of tranquillity, but it was felt that the worst was over, 
and men could once more draw their breath freely when they 
thought of what was passing on the Indian Continent. 

2 Along with the happier intelligence of which we have spoken, came tidings 
that caused general regret, of the death, on the 25th of November, of General 
Havelock, of dysentery, brought on by fatigue and anxiety. The grave had 
already closed over this remarkable man, when both Houses of Parliament 
(7th of December, 1857) unanimously voted him a pension of 1,000/. a year, 
after fitting tribute had been paid to his services in eloquent language by the 
Earl of Derby and Earl Granville m the one House, and by Lord Palmerstou 
in. the other. It had also been announced that he was to be created a Baronet 
and K.C.8. One of the first acts of Parliament, when it reassembled in Feb- 
ruary, was to pass a Bill settling an annuity of 1,0002. upon his widow and on his 
eldest son, Sir Henry Marsh man Havelock, himself a distinguished officer, on 
whom the Baronetcy had descended which had not been enjoyed by his father. No 
sooner was General Havelock' a death known, than a warm expression of sym- 
pathy from the Queen and Prince was conveyed to his widow through the Duke 
of Cambridge. In replying to the Duke, Lady Havelock said : ' In the loneliness 
of my present position, I cannot help wishing that every woman, thns be- 
reaved, might have such a son (I might say sons) to comfort and heal her 
broken heart/ 

In the same letter (24th December, 1857) in which Lord Canning announced 
the death of General Havelock to the Queen, he spoke of the loss of another 
very distinguished officer, Brigadier General Neil I. ' They were/ writes Lord 
Canning, * very different men, however. The first [Havelock] was quite of the 
old school— severe and precise with his men, and very cautious in his move* 
ments and plans, but in action bold as well as skilful. The second very open 
and impetuous, but full of resources ; and to his soldiers as kind and thought* 
ful of their comfort as if they had been his children/ 



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1858 HONOURS FOR INDIAN SERVICES. .153 

6 The question,' the Queen wrote to Lord Palmerston 
(14th January), 'of rewarding the gallant men who have 
done such wonders in the East, is one of great importance. 
It will not be possible to take the whole of the claims into 
account as yet, but the long delay which must necessarily 
occur before this can be done makes it the more advisable 
not to leave the few most marked instances of the gallant 
commanders unrewarded. The Queen hopes that Lord 
Palmerston will, witli Lord Panmure, Mr. Vernon Smith, 
and the Duke of Cambridge, go into the question, and make 
her an early report. The Queen would likewise recommend 
that the opportunity should not be lost for obtaining, by 
" promotion for distinguished services," some younger and able 
general officers, whom our system affords no other means of 
bringing forward. Of course the Duke of Cambridge would 
be able to take care that the right men are selected. Colonel 
Inglis 3 ought certainly to be made a Major-General at once. 

4 The Queen has not heard about the medal which Lord 
Palmerston agreed should be given at once to the troops in 
India.' 

Her Majesty, as we have seen, did not lose the very first 
opportunity of letting the Commander-in-Chief and the 
forces under him know how thoroughly she appreciated their 
conduct throughout trials, which had put every quality of 
manhood and soldiership to the severest test. Next to the 
consciousness of the successful fulfilment of the great trust 
devolved upon him, the letter to Sir Colin Campbell quoted 
in the preceding chapter must have been to him his best 
reward; and the words in which it mentioned the troops 
under his command were sure to find their way among them, 
and to waken that proud feeling which makes a soldier 
forget all past toil and danger, when he learns the gratitude 

* By whom the glorious defence of the garrison in Lucknow had been con- 
ducted. 



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154 LETTER FROM FRENCH EMPEROR. 1858 

of his country through the voice of the Sovereign, who is to 
him its living symbol. 

Among the Christmas greetings sent by the Queen the 
Emperor and Empress of the French had not been forgotten, 
and on the 1st of January — a day which in after years was 
watched by Europe with some anxiety for the language held 
by the Emperor to the Diplomatic circle — he wrote a letter 
in reply, of which some portions may be here translated : — 

' The first of January is usually a day that is anything but 
pleasant to me, for it is taken up with very tiresome receptions, 
and this year seemed to me more disagreeable than usual, for it 
begins on a Friday, and with a fog that might be envied on 
the Thames. But your Majesty has contrived to dissipate all 
the sad impressions of the day by deigning to send me a kind 
word, which I have just received, and which has touched me 
deeply. Believe me, Madam, the wishes that I form for the 
happiness of your Majesty, and for that of the Prince, and of 
your children, are most sincere. 

4 Our thoughts, too, are full of the 25th, 4 and we share all the 
emotions which your Majesty must feel on this occasion. 

' I congratulate your Majesty on the turn for the better which 
events in India have taken. The bravery of the English troops 
in this distant country has filled with admiration all those who 
comprehend the difficulties and the dangers of a war of insur- 
rection. 1 

Ten days before the momentous 25th of the month, to 
which the Emperor alludes, an unforeseen event occurred 
which was not without its influence upon his future policy, 
and also upon the political history of Europe. A plan for 
his destruction, by the explosion of hand-grenades, organised 
by Felix Orsini and others in England, was carried out 
on the evening of the 14th, as the Emperor and Empress 
approached in their carriage the Opera House in the 
Kue Lepelletier. On reading in the morning papers next 

* The day fixed for the marriage of the Princess Royal. 

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1858 THE ORSINI ATTEMPT 155 

day that an attempt bad been made of a frightful nature, 
the particulars of which were not given, the Queen tele- 
graphed to the Emperor, and the same afternoon received a 
telegram in reply, announcing that the Empress and himself 
were safe, but deploring ' the number of persons hurt, which, 
it is said, amounts to eighty.' * The same night the Prince's 
brother arrived at Buckingham Palace from Paris, and was 
able to communicate full details. He had been in the Em- 
peror's box at the Opera, awaiting the arrival of the Imperial 
party, when he heard the explosion. 4 He rushed down,' says 
the Queen's Diary. i The noise and cries were dreadful ; and 
the rush of the crowd, many bleeding, who quite surrounded 
the Emperor and Empress, was fearful. The Emperor's nose 
had been grazed ; the Empress's dress was spotted with blood 
from the wounded around her.' [She had also received a 
blow on the left eye, which affected it for some time.] 6 The 
Empress wonderfully composed and courageous, even more 
than he. They remained all through the performance.' 

Both the Emperor and Empress wrote to the Queen on 
the 17th. In his letter the Emperor says : — 

' In this the first moment of excitement the French are bent 
on finding accomplices in the crime everywhere, and I find it 
hard to resist all the extreme measures which people call on me 
to take. Bat this event will not make me deviate from my 
habitual calm, and, while seeking to strengthen the hands of the 
Government, I will not be guilty of any injustice. I am very 
sorry to intrude a subject so serious and engrossing upon your 
Majesty at a moment when I would fain speak only of the 
happiness I feel in the thought that your mother's heart will 
soon be satisfied. I would also venture to beg your Majesty to 
present to the Princess Royal all my congratulations on her 
marriage. Our warmest good wishes will be with her and with 
you upon the 25th.' 

The Emperor also wrote a separate letter to the Prince. 

5 The actual number proved to be much greater, 10 killed and 156 wounded. 

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156 VIOLENT FEELING IN FRANCE. 1858 

These letters were sent to Lord Clarendon and Lord Pal- 
merston for their perusal. In returning these ' very kind 
and feeling letters/ as he called them, Lord Clarendon 
alludes to the violent language towards England, where Or- 
sini's conspiracy had been hatched, which had already been 
used in the French Chambers, especially by M. Troplong and 
M.- de Moray : — 

' Great allowance/ he said, * is to be made for men whose 
fortunes depend upon the life of the Emperor, and who were 
speaking under the excitement and exasperation which the 
atrocious attempt on his life could not fail to produce. Nor is it 
to be expected that foreigners who see that assassins go and 
come here as they please, and that conspiracies may be hatched 
in England with impunity, should think our laws and policy 
friendly to other countries, or appreciate the extreme difficulty 
of making any change in our system.' 

When Lord Clarendon wrote this letter, it would have 
6eemed to him the most improbable of events, that the 
Ministry of which he was a member should within a month 
be driven from office in consequence of an incident arising 
out of the Orsini conspiracy. 

The Court had passed the early part of the month at 
Windsor Castle, but removed to Buckingham Palace on the 
15th, by which time the numerous Royal and Princely guesta 
invited for the marriage of the Princess Royal were either 
on their way to England or had begun to arrive. Were it 
befitting to speak in detail of the domestic incidents of this 
busy month, a picture of family love and devotion might be 
presented, which would speak to the heart and imagination 
in no ordinary degree. As it is, we venture only here and 
there to lift the veil from the series of incidents recorded 
in the documents before us, more especially in Her Majesty's 
Diary. 

Thus on the day the Court left Windsor Castle, the Diary 
bears : < Went to look at the rooms prepared for Vicky's 

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1858 MARRIAGE FESTIVITIES, 157 

" Honeymoon." Very pretty. It quite agitated me to look 
at them. Poor, poor child ! . . . 6 We took a short walk with 
Vicky, who was dreadfully upset at this real break in her 
life ; the real separation from her childhood ! She slept for 
the last time in the same room with Alice. . . . Now all 
this is cut off.' 

By the 19th all the guests had arrived at the Palace, 
among them the King of the Belgians with his sons, and the 
Prince and Princess of Prussia with their suites, and Princes 
and Princesses in such numbers that the resources of the 
Palace were taxed to the uttermost to find accommodation 
for them all. i Such a house-full,' says Her Majesty's Diary. 
' Such bustle and excitement ! ' Between eighty and ninety 
sat down to dinner at the Royal table daily. On the 18th, 
numerous guests were invited for the evening. 'After 
dinner, 9 says the same record, * a party, and very gay an<t 
pretty dance. It was very animated, all the Prince* dancing. 
Albert did not waltz. Ernest . [Duke of Coburg] said it 
seemed like a dream to him to see Vicky dance as a bride, 
just as I did eighteen years ago, and I still (so he said) 
looking very young. In 1840 poor dear papa [late Duke of 
Coburg] danced with me as Ernest danced with Vicky.' 

The first of the festivities in which the public took part 
was the performance at Her Majesty's Theatre on the 19th 
of Macbethj with Miss Helen Faucit and Mr. Phelps in the 

• The feeling which prompted this exclamation may be gathered from a 
letter to the Queen from her sister on 3Ut of July, 1857, in which, after speak- 
ing of the Princess Charlotte of Belgium's letters, she says : • Poor little wife 
now ! I have quite the same feeling as you have on these dear young creatures 
entering the new life of duties, privations, and trials, on their marrying so 
young. Alas ! the sweet blossoms coming in contact with rude life and all its 
realities so soon, are changed into mature and less lovely persons, so painful to 
a mother's eye and feeling ; and yet we must be happy to see them fulfil their 
Bestimmvng (destiny) ; but it is a happiness not unmixed with many a bitter 
drop of anguish and pain.' — (Letters cf Feodora, Princess of Hohen/ohe-Lavgen- 
burgjrom 1828 to 1872, p. 269.) 



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158 MARRIAGE FESTIVITIES. 1858 

principal characters, and of tbe farce of Twice Killed, per- 
formed by Mr. and Mrs. Keeley. This was the first of a 
series of four representations, organised at Her Majesty's 
request, in honour of the marriage. The theatre was beau- 
tifully decorated throughout with flowers, and on each oc- 
casion was filled by a brilliant and overflowing audience, 
eager to testify the prevailing sympathy with the Queen and 
Prince, and the daughter in whose future the deepest interest 
was generally felt. The whole of the boxes on one side of the 
grand tier had been thrown into one, and the array of person- 
ages of princely blood was certainly remarkable. ' We made,' 
says Her Majesty's Diary, ' a wonderful row of royalties, I 
sitting between dear Uncle and the Prince of Prussia. 1 
When after the play 4 God save the Queen ' was sung, all the 
house rising, and the vast stage crowded with those who 
could not find room in the body of the house, the scene was 
one not readily to be forgotten, as it certainly could not have 
found its parallel in Europe. 

A great ball, at which over 1,000 guests were present, was 
given next evening at the Palace. The following evening a 
performance of Balfe's opera of The Rose of Castille, fol- 
lowed by a farce, again filled Her Majesty's Theatre, and was 
witnessed by the assembled Court and all the Royal guests. 
A great dinner-party was given next day, and the evening 
closed with singing by Mr. Henry Leslie's choir, so admirable 
that it provoked comparison in the minds of many who were 
present with the choral singing, which had recently been 
heard in England, of the famous Cologne Singing Union. 
We now return to the Queen's Diary : — 

6 Saturday, January 23. — Fine, frost. Much excitement, 
but I feel calm. . . . Such bustle, such questions, and 
Albert torn to pieces. Latish walk in the garden, with 
Albert and our dear child. Beautiful day. . . . Albert went 

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i8$8 EVE OF THE MARRIAGE. 159 

before one, to fetch Fritz, who had landed at half-past ten, 
and at half-past one he arrived with an escort (as have all 
the visitors) and all the Court waiting for him below. I 
received him at the bottom of the staircase, very warmly ; 
he was pale and nervous. At the top of the staircase Vicky 
received him with Alice, and we went into the Audience 
Room.' In the afternoon the Queen and Prince, with their 
guests, saw Mr. Rarey illustrate his system of breaking 
horses at the Riding House at the Palace, and in the evening 
they were again present at Her Majesty's Theatre, where 
the Opera of the Sonnambula was given. 

' January 24. — Poor dear Vicky's last unmarried day. 
An eventful one, reminding me so much of mine. . . . After 
breakfast we arranged in the large drawing-room the gifts 
(splendid ones) for Vicky on two tables — Mama's and ours 
on one, Fritz's, his parents', King's and Queen's [of Prussia], 
Uncle's and Ernest's, and Alexandrine's [Duchess of Coburg] 
on the other. . . . Fritz's pearls are the largest I ever saw, 
one row. On a third table were three fine candelabra, our 
gift to Fritz. The Prince and Princess of Prussia, the 
children, Mama, William, all the Princes (except two of the 
Prussian ones) and ourselves, brought in Fritz and Vicky. 
She was in ecstasies, quite startled, and Fritz delighted. . . . 
Service at half-past eleven. The Bishop of Oxford (Wilber- 
force) preached a fine sermon.' 

Coming home from a walk in the gardens of the Palace 
after luncheon, 4 we went again to the Present room, where 
we found more fine gifts had been placed, many from ladies, 
including a quantity of work. From the Duchess of Buc- 
cleuch a splendid case with table ornaments set with coral 
.... from the gentlemen of the Household a beautiful 
diamond and emerald bracelet, &c. &c. Very busy — inter- 
rupted and disturbed every instant ! Dear Vicky gave me a 

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l6o MARRIAGE OF PRINCESS ROYAL. 1858 

brooch (a very pretty one) before Church with her hair ; 
and, clasping me in her arms, said, " I hope to be worthy to 
be your child ! " ' When the duties of hospitality for the day 
were over, ' we [the Queen and Prince] accompanied Vicky 
to her room, kissed her and gave her our blessing, and she 
was much overcome. I pressed her in my arms, and she 
clung to her truly adored papa with much tenderness.' 

6 Monday, January 25. — The second most eventful day 
in my life as regards feelings. I felt as if I were being 
married over again myself, only much more nervous, for I 
had not that blessed feeling which I had then, which raises 
and supports one, of giving myself up for life to him whom 
I loved and worshipped — then and ever ! . . . Got up, and, 
while dressing, dearest Vicky came to see me, looking well 
and composed, and in a fine quiet frame of mind. She had 
slept more soundly and better than before. This relieved me 
greatly. . . . Gave her a pretty book called The Bridal 
Offering? 

When all was ready for proceeding to the Chapel Royal 
at St* James's Palace, the Queen and Crown Princess were 
daguerreotyped together with the Prince, but, says the 
Queen in her Diary, 4 1 trembled so, my likeness has come 
out indistinct. Then came the time to go. The sun 
was shining brightly ; thousands had been out since very 
early, shouting, bells ringing, &c. Albert and Uncle, 
in Field Marshal's uniform, with batons, and the two 
eldest boys went first. Then the three girls in pink satin 
trimmed with Newport lace, Alice with a wreath, and the 
two others with only bouquets in their hair of cornflowers 7 
and marguerites ; next the four boys in Highland dress. The 
Hall full. The flourish of trumpets and cheering of thou- 

7 The favourite flower of Queen Louise of Prussia, and of all her children 
and descendants.— Note by thjb Quesx. 



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1858 MARRIAGE OF PRINCESS ROYAL. 161 

sands made my heart sink within me. Vicky was in the 
carriage with me, sitting opposite. ... At St. James's took 
her into a dressing-room prettily arranged, where were Uncle, 
Albert, and the eight bridesmaids, who looked charming in 
white tulle, with wreaths and bouquets of pink roses and white 
heather. Went into " The Closet," 8 where Mama (looking so 
handsome in violet velvet trimmed with ermine, and white 
silk and violet) and the Cambridges were. All the foreign 
Princes and Princesses, except Uncle, the Prince of Prussia, 
and Prince Albert of Prussia, were already in the Chapel. 

' Then the procession was formed, just as at my marriage, 
only how small the old Royal family has become ! Mama 
last before me — then Lord Palmerston with the Sword of 
State — then Bertie and Alfred. I with the two little boys on 
either side (which they say had a most touching effect) and 
the three girls behind. The effect was very solemn and 
impressive as we passed through the rooms, down the stair- 
case, and across a covered-in court. 

4 The Chapel, though too small, looked extremely im- 
posing and well, — full as it was of so many elegantly-dressed 
ladies, uniforms, &c. The Archbishop, &c. at the altar, and 
on either side of it the Royal personages. Behind me 
Mama and the Cambridges, the girls and little boys near 
me, and opposite me the dear Princess [of Prussia], and the 
foreign Princes behind her. Bertie and Affie, not far from 
the Princess, a little before the others. 

* The drums and trumpets played marches, and the organ 
played others as the procession approached and entered. 
There was a pause between each, but not a very long one, 
and the effect was thrilling and striking as you heard the 
music gradually coming nearer and nearer. Fritz looked 

* The Closet is the room which, on Court days, only the Royal family, 
Princes and Princesses, Peers, Peeresses, and Ladies by Courtesy (daughters 
of Peers), are allowed to enter, 

VOL. IV. M 

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162 MARRIAGE OF PRINCESS ROYAL. 1858 

pale and much agitated, but behaved with the greatest self- 
possession, bowing to us, and then kneeling down in a most 
devotional manner. Then came the bride's procession, and 
our darling Flower looked very touching and lovely, with 
such an innocent, confident, and serious expression, her 
veil hanging back over her shoulders, walking between her 
beloved father and dearest Uncle Leopold, who had been at 
her christening and confirmation, and was himself the 
widower of Princess Charlotte, heiress to the throne of this 
country, Albert's and my uncle, Mama's brother, and one of 
the wisest kings in Europe ! 

' My last fear of being overcome vanished on seeing Vicky's 
quiet, calm, and composed manner. It was beautiful to see 
her kneeling with Fritz, their hands joined, and the train 
borne by the eight young ladies, who looked like a cloud of 
maidens hovering round her, as they knelt near her. Dearest 
Albert took her by the hand to give her away, — my beloved 
Albert (who, I saw, felt so strongly), which reminded me 
vividly of having in the same way, proudly, tenderly, confi- 
dently, most lovingly knelt by him, on this very same spot, 
and having our hands joined there. . . . The music was very 
fine, the Archbishop very nervous ; Fritz spoke very plainly, 
Vicky too. The Archbishop omitted some of the passages. 

6 When the ceremony was over, we both embraced Vicky 
tenderly, but she shed not one tear, and then she kissed her 
grandmama, and I Fritz. She then went up to her new 
parents, and we crossed over to the dear Prince and Princess 
[of Prussia], who were both much moved, Albert shaking 
hands with them, and I kissing both and pressing their 
hands with a most happy feeling. My heart was so full. 
Then the bride and bridegroom left hand in hand, followed 
by the supporters, the " Wedding March " by Mendelssohn 
being played, and we all went up to the Throne Boom to 
sign the register. Here general congratulations, shaking 

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1858 DEPARTURE FOR WINDSOR CASTLE. 163 

hands with all the relations, — I with all the Prussian Princes. 
The young couple first signed, then the parents of both, and 
all the Princes and Princesses present (including Bertie, 
Alice, Alfred, and the Maharajah [Dhideep Singh], who had 
come in resplendent with pearls, — the ministers, clergy, &c. 
I felt so moved, so overjoyed and relieved, that I could have 
embraced everybody — I shook hands with Lord Clarendon 
and Lord Palmerston. Vicky gave very pretty lockets to 
her bridesmaids. 

'The young couple returned to Buckingham Palace to- 
gether, and we with Uncle and the Prince [of Prussia], 
whom I asked to call me " Du." 9 Tremendous crowd, and 
cheering as we passed. On arriving at the Palace, we went 
with the young couple to the celebrated window, 10 at which 
they stepped out and showed themselves, we and the Prince 
and Princess [of Prussia] standing with them.' 

When, after the wedding breakfast, the inevitable moment 
of separation came — that moment fraught with such mingled 
feelings to the parents of even the happiest of brides — the 
warm loving hearts of those with whom the Princess was to 
live no more were severely tried. There was many a moist 
eye, too, among the brilliant throng which accompanied the 
bridal pair to the door, and saw them drive away amid the 
protracted cheers of the assembled multitude. * We dined,' 
6ay8 the Diary so often quoted, i enfamille 9 but I felt so lost 
without Vicky.' In the evening came a messenger from 
Windsor Castle with a letter from the bride, who brought the 
not unwelcome news that the Eton boys had dragged the car- 
riage of the Prince and Princess from the railway station to the 

* The use of the ' Du' in German marks kinship or endearing intimacy. 
The readers of Schiller will remember the appeal of Don Carlos to his friend 
the Marquis of Posa (Don Carlos, act i. sc. 9), ' Und jetzt nock sine Bitte! 
Kenn' rnich Du. And now one boon more grant me ! Call me Thou ! ' 

19 The window over the central archway leading to the courtyard of Bucking- 
ham Palace. 

m2 



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164 LETTERS BY PRINCE CONSORT. 1858 

Castle, and that they had been welcomed in the Royal Borough 
by immense crowds, and with the greatest enthusiasm. The 
metropolis was not behind in testifying its sympathy. * All 
London,' the Prince notes in his Diary, « was illuminated — 
great rejoicings in the streets.' A State concert of music 
of the highest class closed in the evening. * Every one,' 
writes the Queen, ' kind and feeling, and all the Prussians 
and Princes, as well as others, pleased and impressed with 
the ceremony. Only, got to our rooms at half-past one.' 

There was one absent from the ceremonial of that day 
whose absence was much regretted. This was the Queen's 
sister, who, as well as her husband, had been detained in 
Germany by illness. But all her thoughts were in London 
with those she loved so well, and she wrote on the wedding- 
day to the Queen : — 

4 1 must write a few words to you to-day, my heart is so 
full. My thoughts and wishes are near you and your dear 
child. How I long to be with you I need not say ; but I 
will not think of myself, only of you and yours. This 
evening I should like to be with you for a moment and to 
kiss you, my own dear sister, when everybody else is gone. 
Constant separations in this life. I am very low to-day. My 
prayers are with you and your dear child. God bless you 
all!' 

Amid all the bustle and demands upon his attention which 
this day brought, the Prince found a few moments to un- 
burden his heart to the dear friend at Coburg, whose presence 
he sorely missed, and to whom this marriage was the fulfil- 
ment of that friend's highest wishes for the Princess whom 
he loved with the tenderest regard : — 

'My heart impels me to send you a line to-day, as I 
cannot shake you by the hand. In a few hours our child 
will be a wedded wife I a work in which you have had a 

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1858 PUBLIC ENTHUSIASM. 165 

large share, and, I know, will take a cordial interest. It is 
just eighteen years since you subscribed my marriage con- 
tract, and were present in the same Chapel Royal at my 
union with Victoria. Uncle Leopold, whom you now forty- 
two years ago accompanied to London on the occasion of his 
marriage, will with myself be one of the bride's supporters. 
These reminiscences must excite a special feeling within you 
to-day, with which, I hope, is coupled the conviction, that 
we all gratefully revere in you a dear friend and wise coun- 
sellor. Your son will accompany Vicky ; my brother, who 
was my bridegroom's man, will be present. We shall all 
miss you. 

4 Our festivities and visits, which have almost knocked me 
up, have gone off extremely well, and without the smallest 
hitch. The Prussians seem to be greatly pleased and to 
have a high opinion of England. Bridegroom and bride are 
greatly moved, the interest shown by the public is lively and 
cordial. 

* 4 p.m. — The ceremony is over. It was very solemn — all 
went well. The young people are now changing their 
dresses, and start in half an hour for Windsor ; we are just 
going over to them. God's blessing be upon them ! Do 
you say " Amen ! " 

* Buckingham Palace, 25th January, 1858.' 

Two days afterwards (the 27th) the Court moved to 
Windsor, where on the following day the bridegroom 
was invested with the Order of the Garter. A great 
dinner was given in the Waterloo Room in the evening, 
at which, the Queen records, * everybody was most friendly 
and kind about Vicky, and full of the universal enthusiasm, 
of which the Duke of Buccleuch gave us most pleasing, 
instances, he having been in the very thick of the crowd,, 
and amongst the lowest of the low.' 

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166 LETTER BY PRINCE CONSORT 1858 

Next day the Court returned to town, and in the evening 
the Queen and Prince, and the bridal pair, went in state to 
Her Majesty's Theatre. By this time nearly all the Royal and 
Princely guests had quitted England, and all eyes were con- 
centrated on those who for the last few days had excited a 
truly national interest. The enthusiasm of the house de- 
manded the National Anthem twice before and once after 
the play ; on the latter occasion two additional verses appro- 
priate to the circumstances being added. The play, The 
Rivals, was followed by The Spitalfields Weaver, in which, 
as the Queen records, and as those who were present well 
remember, Wright, an actor too early lost to the stage, i was 
excessively droll.' 

Next day (the 30th) was devoted to receiving the addresses 
presented to the Crown Prince and Princess from the City of 
London, and from all the great cities and towns in the king- 
dom, many of them accompanied with costly presents, and 
to a Drawing-room, which was unusually brilliant, and so full 
that it lasted four hours. That morning the Prince wrote 
to the Dowager Duchess of Coburg : — 

' 1 have been unable until now to find one quiet moment 
to write to you, and even now I must steal the time to do so 
from right and left. We had thirty-five Boyal personages to 
house, to fete, to show England to, to exhibit the bride to 
the people, to society, &c, to receive the bridegroom, to 
marry the young people, to prepare their brief honeymoon at 
Windsor, to induct our son-in-law into the Order of the 
Garter, to get back here, &c. To-day is deveted to receiviug 
addresses, and to a monster Drawing-room. 

'I am now a real father-in-law, our child a real wife. That 
this looks somewhat strange to us you will comprehend ; not 
less will you feel that the separation for ever <of our dear 
daughter from the family circle makes a frightful ga,p in our. 



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1858 LEAVE-TAKING. 167 

hearts. I do not trust myself to think of Tuesday, on which 
day we are to lose her. 

' In Germany people seem prepared to welcome her with 
the greatest friendliness ; here the love and the enthusiasm 
of the people are not to be described: they are quite 
touching. 

' The marriage ceremony was very solemn and affecting. 
I send you a programme, and with it a piece of the wedding 
cake, and some orange-blossom from the bridal dress. . . . 

' It was eighteen years yesterday since I left my home, 
fourteen since my dear father was taken from us ! ' 

Next day was Sunday ; and the thought of the separation, 
which the dreaded Tuesday here spoken of by the Prince 
was to bring, * hangs,' says the entry in the Queen's Diary, 
' like a storm above us ! But God will carry us through it, 
as He did on the 25th. And we have the comfort of seeing 
the dear young people so perfectly happy.' How significant 
in its brevity is the entry of the following day : * Monday, 
February 1. — The last day of our dear child's being with us, 
which is incredible, and makes me feel at times quite sick at 
heart/ Despite every effort, the thought that it was the last 
day would intrude. ' I think it will kill me to take leave 
of dear Papa I ' were the words of the Princess to the Queen, 
at a moment when natural feeling would have its way. 
* God knows ' (we again quote the Diary) ' what I felt, and 
how my tears were ready to come.' 

* Tuesday, February 2. — A wretched day. A dull, still, 
thick morning. Got up with a heavy heart. Went over to 
dear Vicky's room to fetch her for the last time. Struggled 
with all my might against my sad feelings. . . • About a 
quarter to eleven Vicky came with a very sad face to my 
room. Here we embraced each other tenderly, and our tears 
flowed fast ; then we recovered for a time. Albert joined us. 

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168 DEPARTURE OF PRINCESS ROYAL 1858 

We tried to talk of other things.' • . . [The Princess then 
dressed for her journey.] 4 And now the dreadful time was at 
hand. We all went into the Audience Boom, where were 
Mama and all the children. ... I still struggled, but as I 
came to the stairs my breaking heart gave way. My beloved 
Albert most kindly said, he grieved so much to leave me. I 
went first, followed by Vicky and Fritz. The Hall was full 
of all our people, and their people (including Lady Churchill 
and Lord Sydney, who accompany them to Berlin). Many 
of the servants also there, and I do not think there was 
a dry eye. Poor dear child ! # . . I clasped her in my arms 
and blessed her, and knew not what to say. I kissed good 
Fritz and pressed his hand again and again. He was unable 
to speak, and the tears were in his eyes. I embraced them 
both again at the carriage door, and Albert got into the 
carriage, an open one, with them and Bertie. Alfred and 
George [Duke of Cambridge] in the next. The Band struck 
up. I wished good-by to the good Perponchers. 11 General 
Schreckenstein was much affected. I pressed his hand, and 
the good Dean's [of Windsor], and then went quickly up- 
stairs. 

' A dreadful moment, and a dreadful day. Such sickness 
came over me, real heartache, when I thought of our dearest 
child being gone, and for so long — all, all being over ! . . . 
It began to snow before Vicky went, and continued to do so 
without intermission all day. ... At times I could be quite 
cheerful, but my tears began to flow afresh frequently, and I 
could not go near Vicky's corridor. Everything recalled the 
time now past — all programmes, dinner lists, &c. lying 
about still, as if all were yet going on — and all, all over ! 
such desolation ! . . . 

4 At four my beloved Albert returned, with the two boys, 

11 The Count and Countess Perponcher, Kammerherr and Obexhofmeisterin 
of the Grown Prince and Princess. 



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1858 FOR GERMANY. 169 

very sad, and my grief again burst forth. The separation 
had been dreadful. • . . Albert seemed much impressed by 
it. Nothing could exceed the loyalty, enthusiasm, and 
feeling shown by the countless thousands in the City, and 
again at Gravesend, where the decorations were beautiful. 
Young girls with wreaths, in spite of the snow, walked on 
the pier strewing flowers. • • • 

4 Albert had waited to see the ship leave, — what a moment 
it must have been !*— but Vicky did not come on deck. . . . 
Bested and felt very low. The sight of the darling baby 
[Princess Beatrice] even made me sad, as dear Vicky loved 
her so much, and only yesterday played with her ! ' 

Among the thousands who thronged the streets of the metro- 
polis on that heavy, * still,' cheerless morning, and saw the 
father and child gravely and sadly making their way through 
the falling snow to the place where they were to part, there 
were few hearts which were not in sympathy with the feeling 
that was uppermost in theirs. All felt that, in that hour of 
parting, not even the thought of the brilliant future which lay 
before the Princess could afford consolation for the natural 
sorrow of affection so deep as that which was well known 
to exist between the Prince Consort and his first-born. How 
he felt may be seen from his words in writing to her the next 
day : — 

♦Buckingham Palace, 3rd February, 185S. 

* My heart was very full when yesterday you leaned your 
forehead on my breast to give free vent to your tears. I am 
not of a demonstrative nature, and therefore you can hardly 
know how dear you have always been to me, and what a void 
you have left behind in my heart : yet not in my heart, for 
there assuredly you will abide henceforth, as till now you 
have done, but in my daily life, which is evermore reminding 
my heart of your absence.' 

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170 PRINCESS ROYALS ARRIVAL IN GERMANY. 1858 

Every mail brought tidings of the Princess's progress to 
her new home, and of the favourable impression which she 
had everywhere produced. On the 6th the Prince again 
wrote to her : — 

* Thank God, everything apparently goes on to a wish, and 
you seem to gain " golden opinions " in your favour ; which 
naturally gives us extreme pleasure, both because we love 
you, and because this touches our parental pride. But what 
has given us most pleasure of all was the letter, so over- 
flowing with affection, which you wrote while yet on board 
the yacht. Poor child! well did I feel the bitterness of 
your sorrow, and would so fain have soothed it. But, ex- 
cepting my own sorrow, I had nothing to give ; and that 
would only have had the effect of augmenting yours.' 

To Baron Stockmar he had written the previous day as 
follows : — 

' Our darling child is now gone, and we have already news 
by telegraph from them as far as Cologne, where they made 
their entrance yesterday evening. The pang of parting was 
great on all sides, and the void which Vicky has left in our 
household and family circle will stand gaping for many a 
day. Throughout all this agitated, serious, and very trying 
time, the good child has behaved quite admirably, and to 
the mingled admiration and surprise of every one. She was 
so natural, so childlike, so dignified and firm in her whole 
bearing and demeanour, that one might well believe in a 
higher inspiration* 

' Of the touching enthusiasm and sympathy of all 
ranks of the people you can form no conception. Down 
to the humblest cottage the marriage has been regarded 
as a family affair* The Times will have apprised you of the 
daily incidents ; I therefore speak to you only of impressions. 



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1858 EXCITEMENT IN FRANCE. 171 

I shall not forget that your son l2 had proved himself in all 
ways extremely useful, and takes and holds his ground 
(prend sa position)^ which, among the Berliners, is no easy 
matter. 

' In Paris things look bad. The outcry against England 
[on account of the Orsini affair] is quite absurd, and begins 
to provoke excessive indignation here. The Government will, 
under the circumstances, have trouble in carrying through 
Parliament, which met yesterday, a suitable measure for 
the punishment of conspiracy to assassinate. The India 
Bill and Reform Bill together will give us a great deal to do 
all through this spring.' 



13 Baron Ernest Stockmar, who was appointed Treasurer to the Princess 
Royal on her marriage. 



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172 



CHAPTER LXXXIIL 

While addresses of congratulation to the Queen from Par- 
liament and from all parts of the kingdom spoke of the 
warm interest taken by the nation in the Prussian marriage, 
the young bride was producing a most favourable impression 
along the route to her new home, and had been received with 
enthusiasm in Berlin itself, which she reached on the 8th of 
February. Every step of her progress was watched by her 
parents, through every channel of information, with the 
utmost solicitude. With what satisfaction they regarded the 
accounts that reached them of the way in which their child 
had proved herself worthy of the welcome given to her, may 
best be seen in the following portions of a letter to herself 
from the Prince : — 

'nth February, 1858. 
* You have now entered upon your new home, and been 
received and welcomed on all sides with the greatest friendship 
and cordiality. This kindly and trustful advance of a whole 
nation towards an entire stranger must have kindled and 
confirmed within you the determination to show yourself in 
every way worthy of such feelings, and to reciprocate and 
requite them by the steadfast resolution to dedicate the 
whole energies of your life to this people of your new home. 1 

1 In a letter from Berlin on the 17th of February to the Queen, Her Majesty's 
sister writes : ' You know of everything that is going on, and how much she 
[the Princess Rcyal] is admired, and deserves so to be. . . . The enthusiasm 
and interest shown are beyond everything. Never was a Princess in this 
country received as she is. That shows where the sympathies turn to ; cer- 



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1858 LETTER OF THE PRINCE CONSORT. 173 

And you have received from Heaven the happy task of effecting 
this object by making your husband truly happy, and of 
doing him at the same time the best service, by aiding him 
to maintain and to increase the love of his countrymen. 

* That you have everywhere made so favourable an impres- 
sion has given intense happiness to me as a father. Let me 
express my fullest admiration of the way in which, possessed 
exclusively by the duty which you had to fulfil, you have 
kept down and overcome your own little personal troubles, 
perhaps also many feelings of sorrow not yet healed. This 
is the way to success, and the only way. If you have suc- 
ceeded in winning people's hearts by friendliness, simplicity, 
and courtesy, the secret lay in this, that you were not 
thinking of yourself. Hold fast this mystic power, it is a 
spark from Heaven. 

4 To Him who has shaped everything so happily, I am 
grateful from the very depths of my soul for the happy 
climax to the most important period of your life. Dear 
child, I would fain have been in the crowd to see your 
entrance, and to hear what the multitude said of you ; so, 
too, is it with Mama. We are, however, kept admirably in- 
formed of everything by the telegraph, and post, and papers. 
The telegraph must have been amazed when it wrote : " The 
whole Royal family is enchanted with my wife. — F. W." 

' Our old marriage day passed off yesterday quietly, but 
too much interrupted and overlaid with business of all sorts 
for calm enjoyment (zur Oemiithlichkeity 

Among the tasks which the Prince Consort had set to the 
Princess Royal in the studies for her new position was 
the translation of a pamphlet called Karl August und die 
Deutsche Politik by Johann Gustavus Droysen, which had 

tainly not towards the North Pole.'— (Letters of the Princess of Hohenloke, 
p. 275.) 

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174 THE PRINCESS ROYAL. 1858 

appeared on the occasion of the Goethe and Schiller Festival 
at Weimar on the 3rd of September, 1857. This essay was 
in every sense a remarkable one, for the condensed force 
with which it dealt with the past policy of Germany, and 
advocated a policy for the future, which being at once 
liberal and national might give to the German race a fitting 
position among the States of Europe. It was full of thoughts 
to nurse the right ambition of one destined to be the future 
sovereign of a great people. But the intellect of a girl, not 
yet seventeen, must have been developed in no ordinary 
degree for the Prince to feel assured that she could enter so 
thoroughly into the ideas of the writer, as to put them into 
adequate English. With a natural pride he sent the 
Princess's translation to Lord Clarendon to read, and re- 
ceived an acknowledgment on the 16th of February, in which 
his lordship says : — 

4 The fact of its being translated by the Princess Royal made 
me suspend all other occupations in order to read it, which I 
have done with peculiar interest, for I felt all the time that the 
being engaged in works which convey knowledge and stimulate 
inquiry and demand reflection has, under the guidance of your 
Royal Highness, made the Princess what she is. Her manner, 
which charms everybody, would not be what it is, if it were not 
the reflection of a highly cultivated intellect, which, with a well- 
trained imagination, leads to the saying and doing of right things 
in right places. 

4 In reading Droysen, I felt that the motto of Prussia should 
be u Semper eadem" and in thinking of his translator I felt 
that she is destined to change that motto into the 44 Vigilando 
ascendimus " of Weimar.' 

These were no words of flattery ; and a remark of the Prince's 
own to her bridegroom, that the Princess Royal 4 had a man's 
head and a child's heart,' — the * in wit a man, simplicity a 
child,' of the poet — was soon confirmed by the report of many 
a shrewd observer in Germany. One of these wrote to the 



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1858 THE PRINCESS ROYAL. 175 

Prince Consort a few weeks after her arrival in Berlin : ' She 
sees more clearly and more correctly than many a man of 
commanding intellect, because, while possessing an acute 
mind, and the purest heart, she does not know the word 
" prejudice." ' * 

The correspondence of the Prince with such a child could 
be of no ordinary kind. All that thought and experience, 
prompted by the deepest affection, could suggest, were sure 
to be placed at her service. At the critical moment, when 
the reaction after all the excitement and blandishments of 
the last month was- likely to set in, the Prince writes with 
admirable words of warning and encouragement : — 

' 17th February, 1858. 

' Your festival time, if not your honeymoon, comes to an 
end to-day ; and on this I take leave to congratulate you, 
unfeeling though it may sound, for I wish for you the ne- 
cessary time and tranquillity to digest the many impressions 
you have received, and which otherwise, like a wild revel, 
first inflame, and then stupefy, leaving a dull nerveless 
lassitude behind. Your exertions, and the demands which 
have been made upon you, have been quite immense ; you 
have done your best, and have won the hearts, or what is 
called the hearts, of all. In the nature of things we may 
now expect a little reaction. The public, just because it was 
rapturous and enthusiastic, will now become minutely critical, 

1 In writing to King Leopold on the 16th, the Queen, after mentioning 
with natural pride that ' nothing can exceed the success and reception ' of the 
PriDce8s Royal, and her letters that speak of her being * so happy/ adds, * But 
her heart often yearns after home, and those she loves dearly, — above all, her 
dear Papa, for whom she has un culte which is touching and dolightful to see. 1 
The thought of the daughter's worship for the father then calls up her own for 
the husband, and the letter proceeds : ' Well do I recognise and know and feel 
how much I owe you for enabling me to become Albert's wife— a privilege 
which I know how to appreciate, and by which the country has benefited to a 
degree that no one can overrate.' 



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176 LETTER BY THE PRINCE CONSORT 1858 

and take you to pieces anatomically. This is to be kept in 
view, although it need cause you no uneasiness, for you have 
only followed your natural bent, and have made no external 
demonstration (nichte dvsserlich " ajjichirt ") which did not 
answer to the truth of your inner nature* It is only the man 
who presents an artificial demeanour ( Wesen) to the world, 
who has to dread being unmasked. 

'. . . Your place is that of your husband's wife, and of 
your mother's daughter. You will desire nothing else, but 
you will also forego nothing of that which you owe to your 
•husband and to your mother. Ultimately your mind will, 
from the over-excitement, fall back to a little lassitude and 
sadness. But this will make you feel a craving for activity, 
and you have much to do, studying your new country, its 
tendencies and its people, and in overlooking your household 
as a good housewife {ah gute Hausfrau), with punctuality, 
method, and vigilant care. To success in the affairs of life, 
apportionment of time is essential, and I hope you will make 
this your first care, so that you may always have some time 
over for the fulfilment of every duty.' 

And again, a few days afterwards, these weighty and 
beautiful words occur in another of the Prince's letters to 
the Princess Royal: — 

4 . . . Thus very quickly comes a change over the paternal 
home, and what it was of old it will never again be to you 1 
What does not pass away, and is alone of value here below, 
is the old love and constancy of heart and mind ; these you 
will always find awaiting you, come when you may, though 
in truth they have gone with you to your far-off home, and 
surround you there too. 

4 You are sure to succeed in bringing your life and thoughts 
into order, and in gaining the tranquillity that is essential 
for the health of your mind and soul.' 

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1858 THE PRINCESS ROYAL. 177 

Baron Stockmar had also been watching the details of the 
Princess fioyal's reception in Germany with an interest scarcely 
less deep than that of her parents. His delight at all he heard 
of this favourite of his old age had found warm expression in 
a letter to the Prince Consort, which* called forth the follow- 
ing reply : — 

'Your letter of the 5th gave me great pleasure. It is 
written with the old freshness and glow, and speaks of the 
old love and devotion. How could we, her parents, feel 
otherwise than proud and happy at the success which Vicky 
has won, by her simple, kindly, genial bearing, as well as by 
her tact! In that success we find 1 some compensation for 
the bitter feeling of separation. 

'The enthusiasm with which she seems to have been 
everywhere received exceeds our utmost calculations and 
hopes, and proves that the people approved the idea of this 
alliance, and have found Vicky in herself answer to their 
expectations. It is only now, indeed, the difficulties of her 
life will begin, and after the excitement of the festivities a 
certain melancholy will come over the poor child, however 
happy she may feel with her husband. With marriage, a 
new life has opened for her, and you would have marvelled 
at the sudden change and development which even here 
became at once apparent. 

*We, that is she and I, have, I think, remained, and I 
believe will remain, the same to one another. She con- 
tinues to set great store by my advice and my confidence ; 
I do not thrust them upon her, but I am always ready to 
give them. During this time of troubles she has written 
less to me, and communicated the details of her life, and 
what she is doing, more to her mother. I had arranged this 
with her, but I hold her promise to impart to me faithfully 
the progress of her inner life, and on the other hand have 

vol. iv. N 

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178 PRINCE PLANS VISIT TO GERMANY. 1858 

given her mine, to take a constantly active part in fostering 
it. You may be sure I will not fail in this, as I see in it 
merely the fulfilment of a sacred duty. 

' What you say about an early visit had already been 
running in my head, and I will frankly explain what we 
think on this subject. Victoria and I are both desirous to 
have a meeting with the young couple, somewhere or other 
in the course of the year, having moreover given them a 
promise that we would. This could only be in the autumn. 

4 A rendezvous on the Ehine — for example at Coblenz — 
would probably 'be the right thing. . . . This does not exclude 
a flying visit toy myself alone, which, if it is to be of any use, 
must be paid earlier in the year. I shall not be withheld from 
paying it by the fact, that only with the greatest difficulty 
could I arrange to find the necessary time. How and where 
we could see each other I have naturally weighed, and am 
myself doubtful whether Berlin is the appropriate place for 
me. I have therefore come to the conclusion that I might 
go to Coburg, and give the young people a rendezvous there. 
It is 60 long since I have been in the old house, that my 
heart and conscience urge me in this direction very strongly. 
I should be glad, too, to see you again, and to talk quietly 
with you. Vicky is very anxious to make acquaintance with 
my birthplace, and I should like to see it with her. I there- 
fore think that this will be the best in every way. Let me 
have your opinion soon. I think you will concur in my 
plan. Now, however, I must conclude. . . .' 

* Buckingham Palace, 15th February, 1858.' 

While so much that was of the deepest personal interest 
to the Queen and Prince had been going on, the political 
movements in Parliament had not been uneventful. It had 
reassembled on the 4th of February. Next evening Addresses 
of congratulation to the Queen upon the recent marriage 

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1858 MEETING OF PARLIAMENT. 179 

were voted with enthusiasm in both Houses. In the House 
of Commons Lord Palmerston, in moving the Address, pre- 
faced a very cordial and kindly speech by stating that there 
had been 'no event since the marriage of Her Majesty 
herself which had so much enlisted the feelings and so much 
excited the interest of the whole British nation.' Mr. 
Disraeli, in seconding Lord Palmerston's motion, adverted to 
the 'domestic sentiment,' which 'in the recent universal 
feeling respecting this royal marriage pervaded a great and 
powerful nation. This feeling,' he continued, 'was thus 
elicited, because there was a conviction in the country, that 
this alliance was not occasioned by political interests, but 
brought about by nature and affection ; and the people 
seized the happy opportunity of expressing what they had 
long felt, that the royal parents of our Princess had ever 
appreciated the feelings of the hearth, as much as the 
splendours of the throne.' 

No time was lost in entering upon the serious business of 
the Session. Before doing so, however, expression had to be 
given to the natural feeling of gratitude to the distinguished 
men who had grappled so nobly with the crisis in India. 
Accordingly on the 8th Resolutions were proposed by the 
Government to both Houses, thanking the civil and military 
officers of India for the energy and ability displayed by them 
in suppressing the mutiny. Foremost among the names 
included in the Resolutions was naturally that of Lord 
Canning. He had not, however, escaped the fate of all men 
who are called upon to save the State in times of difficulty 
and danger. Both in India and at home he had been 
charged not merely with want of sagacity in failing to divine 
the strength of the spirit of disaffection, and to devise 
measures for preventing its breaking out into open mutiny, 
but also with want of firmness in the measures adopted for 
putting it down where it had broken out, and for preventing 



h2 



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l8o INDIAN AFFAIRS. 1858 

its spread to other quarters. The Governor-General, better 
informed as to the facts than any other man could possibly 
be, and acting under the sense of responsibility, which 
quickens and fortifies the judgment as nothing else can, had 
been the mark for the shafts of hasty and imperfectly 
informed journalists — * severe gnostics,' to borrow Milton's 
words, ' whose little reading and less meditating holds ever 
with hardest obstinacy that which it took up with easiest 
credulity,' Many of the English residents in Calcutta and 
the Presidency of Bengal, frightened and therefore fero- 
cious, finding the Governor-General in no mood to adopt 
a policy, against the unoffending masses of the Indian popu- 
lation, of repression and punishment sufficiently ruthless and 
sweeping to satisfy their theory that the native races of 
India ' can be influenced by power and fear alone,' ' had even 
gone so far as to present a petition to the Queen for his 
recall. Both in this petition and in violent articles in the 
press, it was made matter of complaint that the whole of 
India had not been put under martial law after the mutiny 
broke out, and the instructions which Lord Canning had 
issued to the various Civil authorities for their guidance in 
putting down insurrection in the disturbed districts were 
sneeringly spoken of as 4 The Clemency Orders.' 

However such things might add to his difficulties in the 
great emergency in which he found himself, they could not 
shake Lord Canning's determination to pursue a policy based 
on justice and a well-considered appreciation of the character 
and circumstances of the races with whom he had to deal. 
In a despatch (11th December, 1857) addressed to the Court 
of Directors of the India Company, he buccessfully vindicated 
his policy, and this despatch had been made public in 
England a few days before the vote of thanks was moved in 
Parliament. Nevertheless, an attempt was made by Lord 
* These words are taken from the petition referred to in the text 

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1858 ATTACKS ON LORD CANNING. 181 

Derby in the House of Lords, and by Mr, Disraeli in the 
House of Commons, to exclude Lord Canning's name from 
the vote of thanks, on the ground that it was premature to 
vote thanks to him until the exceptions which had been 
taken to his policy by the Calcutta Petition and in other 
quarters had been discussed and disproved. To this it was 
answered that the motion did not touch questions of general 
policy, but only the naval and military operations by which 
the Mutiny had been quelled, and that to exclude Lord 
Canning and the other eminent civilians named from the 
vote of thanks would be equivalent to a vote of censure. 
Nor were there wanting voices to proclaim in emphatic 
terms that they all, and Lord Canning especially, had de- 
served well of the State. ' Lord Canning,' said Mr. Henley, 
with his usual terseness and force, 'has dealt successfully 
with a state of things for which it was impossible to be 
prepared. All that we are asked to pronounce upon is, 
whether his conduct deserves our thanks. I think it does, 
and I shall join in the vote.' 

On the 11th of December, 1857, Lord Canning wrote a 
letter to Earl Granville, which the Prince considered of so 
much value that he has preserved a copy of it among his 
papers on Lord Canning's administration. The following 
passages from this letter are of peculiar interest to the 
student of the history of this period, with reference to the 
vehement attack which was soon after made upon him for a 
seeming abandonment, in the case of Oude, of a policy of 
justice tempered with mercy for one of cruelty and in- 
justice : — 

* I could write a chapter in deprecation of anything being done 
or said in Parliament by the Government, which shall tend to 
throw cold water upon the policy that has been pursued towards 
the natives. Look at a map (never think of Indian matters 
without looking at a map, and without bringing your mind to 

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182 LETTER FROM LORD CANNING 1858 

take in the scale of the map and the size of the country). Look 
at a map. With all the reinforcements yon have sent (all the 
Bengal ones are arrived, except 800 men), Bengal is without a 
single European soldier more than we had at the beginning of 
the mutiny, Calcutta alone excepted, which is stronger. Twenty 
three thousand men have moved through Bengal, and in Bengal 
we are still dependent (mainly) upon the good will, I can't say 
affection and interest, well understood by themselves, of the 
natives* 

' Suppose (not an impossibility, although I hope not a likeli- 
hood) — suppose that hostilities train on, and that we do not make 
our way with Oude and other disturbed places, that our strength 
becomes again a subject of doubt — will it be the part of a wise 
G-overnment to keep such a population as that of the three great 
provinces in a loyal frame of temper ? Can you do so, if you 
proscribe and scout as untrustworthy whole classes . . . ? ' 

' For God's sake, raise your voice and stop this. As long as 
I have breath in my body, I will pursue no other policy than 
that I have been following: not only for the reason of ex- 
pediency and policy above stated, but because it is immutably 
just. I will not govern in anger. Justice, and that as stern 
and inflexible as law and might can make it, I will deal out. 
But I will never allow an angry and undiscriminating act or 
word to proceed from the Government of India, as long as I am 
responsible for it. . . . 

• I don't care two straws for the abuse of the papers, British or 
Indian. I am for ever wondering at myself for not doing so, 
but it really is the fact. Partly from want of time to care, 
partly because an enormous task is before me, and all other 
cares look small. . . .' 

* I don't want you to do more than defend me against unfair 
or mistaken attacks. But do take np and assert boldly, that 
whilst we are prepared, as the first duty of all, to strike down 
resistance without mercy, wherever it shows itself, we acknow- 
ledge that, resistance over, deliberate justice, and calm, patient 
reason are to resume their sway ; that we are not going, either 
in anger or from indolence, to punish wholesale; whether by 
wholesale hangings and burnings, or by the less violent, but not 
one bit less offensive course, of refusing trust and countenance 
and favour and honour to any man because he is of a class or a 



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1858 TO EARL GRANVILLE. 18 3 

creed. Do this, and get others to do it, and you will serve 
India more than yon would believe. 

( Had not the " clemency " question been taken up as it has 
been taken up in England, I really believe that the cry would 
never have been heard again, even in Calcutta. . . . The Times 
has done incalculable mischief by giving a new start to the cry. 
And the second article, by which it appeared to modify the first, 
only made matters worse, just as an apology is often worse than 
the offence. I have, however, great faith in Parliament on this 
question, though by no means on all others concerning India.' 

It was apparent from the discussions on the vote of 
thanks, that the Ministry would encounter a strong opposi- 
tion to their measure for transferring the Government of 
India from the East India Company to the Crown. Lord 
Palmerston introduced it on the 12th. Nevertheless, the 
prevailing conviction among all leading public men, as well 
as throughout the country, was in favour of the transfer. 
The only debateable issue was whether the time for it had 
come, or whether complete tranquillity should not first be 
restored, and a recognition enforced of the supremacy of 
British rule. ' First of all,' Lord Ellenborough had said in 
an incidental discussion in the House of Lords the night 
before, ' re-establish your empire. Show you have the power 
everywhere to put down all opposition to your rule. Stand 
as sovereigns of the country before you think of forming a 
new government.' This was the burden of the arguments 
urged against the Bill during the two nights' debate that 
ensued. But when the leader of the Opposition, in winding 
up the discussion, was constrained to admit that India ought 
to be governed by the direct authority of the Crown, the 
House could scarcely be expected to postpone the necessary 
legislation to an uncertain future, as it was obvious that, with 
this measure at their back, the hands of Government would 
be strengthened for the work of pacification, which was 
still far from being at an end. Such, however, was the 



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184 IMPRUDENT ACTION 1858 

divided state of parties, so feeble the hold of the Cabinet 
upon a large section of the Liberals, that great doubts were 
entertained as to the issue of the vote down to the last. 
These proved, however, to be unfounded, for on the division 
Mr. Thomas Baring's amendment, that legislation should be 
postponed, was defeated by a majority of 318 to 173, In 
the letter (18th Feburary) announcing this result to the 
Queen, Lord Palmerston was able to say : ' The majority was 
even greater than had been expected, and proves how little 
credit is to be given to reports which circulate in clubs and 
drawing-rooms as to the probable result of Parliamentary 
proceedings.' 

Mr. Evelyn Ashley, in his Life of Lord Palmerston 
(vol. ii. p. 142) says that the Attorney-General (Sir Richard 
Bethell), walking home with Lord Palmerston After the 
victorious result, remarked that the Premier ought, 'like 
the Soman Consuls in a triumph, to have somebody to 
remind him that he was, as a minister, mortal. 9 The admo- 
nition -came quickly, and in a way that was little anticipated 
by either friend or foe. 

In the letter quoted at the close of the last chapter the 
Prince remarked, that the outcry in France against England 
on account of the Orsini affair had ' begun to provoke 
excessive indignation.' That indignation was quickened 
into flame by the inconsiderate action of the French Govern- 
ment. It cannot be doubted that the nerves of the Emperor 
received a shock on the occasion of Orsini's attempt, 4 which 
robbed him for a time of his usual sagacity and self- 
command, and made him lend an ear to counsels of those 
about him, which were prompted less by regard for himself 

4 We have before ns a statement by one likely to be veil informed, that 
when, after erery one at the Tuileries had retired on the night of Orsini's 
attempt, the Emperor and Empress went to the room of the infant Prince 
Imperial, their firmness forsook them, and they burst into tears, the Emperor 
weeping most bitterly. 



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c 



1858 OF FRENCH GOVERNMENT. 18$ 

and his dynasty than by alarm for the ruin of their own 
interests, which must ensue from the success of any fresh 
attempts upon the Emperor's person. Left to himself, the 
Emperor would no doubt have regained what he calls in his 
letter to the Queen (supra, p. 155) ' his habitual calm,' and 
would have followed the wise policy of a silent and magnani- 
mous firmness. If his own police could not protect him 
against the desperate devices of assassins like Orsini and 
Pierji, reflection must have satistied him that neither violent 
measures against suspected republicans at home, nor penal 
regulations by other States, could diminish the hazards to 
which he was exposed. Neither in his calmer moments 
could he have believed that Sardinia, Switzerland, Belgium, 
or England, the countries in which the attempts on his life 
had hitherto been hatched, would restrict their freedom of 
asylum at his dictation, or that France would support him in 
any attempt to coerce them into submission. 

Now, indeed, the truth was to be realised of what the 
Prince had told him (supra, p. 113): 'No monarch was 
ever great without a great Minister.' It was in such a crisis 
as this that the calm wisdom of a true statesman, if such a 
statesman had been at his elbow, would have kept the 
Emperor straight, and prevented him from casting about for 
expedients, which provoked animosity at home and abroad, 
without adding one tittle to his personal security, or to the 
stability of his rule. Foremost among these was the dis- 
missal of M. Billault, his Minister of the Interior, and the 
appointment in his stead of General Espinasse, a soldier of a 
bad type, ignorant of the elementary principles of civil 
government. Menacing communications were despatched to 
Sardinia, Switzerland, and Belgium. The same tone was not 
ventured upon towards England, but Count Walewski, on the 
20th of January, wrote a Despatch to Count de Persigny, the 
French Ambassador in London, to be communicated to the 

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186 COUNT WALEWSKrS DESPATCH. 1858 

English Government, in which strong language was used — 
language moreover which, if not offensively intended, was 
felt by many to imply an offensive imputation against this 
country, that it deliberately afforded countenance and shelter 
to men by whose writings c assassination was elevated into a 
doctrine, openly preached, and carried into practice by reiter- 
ated attacks ' upon the person of the French Sovereign : — 

' Ought the English legislature,' the Despatch bore, ' to con- 
tribute to the designs of men who were not mere fugitives, but 
assassins, and continue to shelter persons who place themselves 
beyond the pale of common right and under the ban of humanity ? 
Her Britannic Majesty's Government can assist us in averting a 
repetition of such guilty enterprises by affording us a guarantee 
of security which no State can refuse to a neighbouring State, 
and which we are authorised to expect from an ally. Fully 
relying, moreover, on the high principle (haute raison) of the 
English Cabinet, we refrain from indicating in any way the 
measures which it may see fit to take in order to comply with 
this wish. "We confidently leave to it to decide the course 
which it shall deem best fitted to attain the end in view.' 

In this communication there was little which, looking at 
the circumstances with the dispassionate eyes of statesmen 
bound to consider all sides of a question, could reasonably be 
found fault with. In truth, it suggested no more than had 
already suggested itself to the Cabinet, that the existing 
state of the English law required to be reconsidered. There 
was no denying the fact that Orsini had gone direct from 
England, and that he, like the active agents in previous con- 
spiracies against the Emperor's life, had also lived for some 
time in England. Public feeling was revolted by the way 
the asylum we had afforded had been abused by men of this 
stamp, and it was prepared to sanction any reasonable 
measure to prevent English soil from being used with impu- 
nity for the concoction of plots against the life of a foreign 
Sovereign. Accordingly, a measure introduced by Lord 



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1858 ADDRESSES OF FRENCH COLONELS. 187 

Palmerston on the 8th of February to make conspiracy to 
murder a felony punishable with penal servitude for five 
years, or imprisonment with hard labour for three years — 
that offence being only a misdemeanour under the existing 
law — passed the first reading after a two nights' debate, by a 
majority of 299 to 99. But this signal victory of the 
Government was speedily followed by a significant defeat. 

Day by day the feeling of angry resentment at the 
Emperor and his advisers had continued to increase. It had 
been immensely aggravated by the language of certain 
addresses of congratulation to the Emperor from officers in 
the French army, calling for the invasion of England as the 
infamous haunt in which infernal machinations were planned, 
and denouncing Englishmen as the protectors of murderers 
and assassins. In an evil hour the Emperor had sanctioned 
the getting up of Addresses to himself from th6 army, in the 
belief that protestations of attachment to his person and 
dynasty from this quarter would at such a moment have a 
salutary effect. Most of the Addresses were unexceptionable, 
but into some of them the old rancorous feeling against 
England had found its way. These had escaped the observa- 
tion of the officials whose duty it was to have examined them 
before they were sent for publication in the Moniteur, but it 
was just these which were most eagerly selected for publication 
in England. Appearing as they did in the Government 
journal, they were read as speaking the thoughts of the 
Emperor ; and an undue importance was attached to what 
would in ordinary circumstances have scarcely provoked a 
smile of contempt. 

When, therefore, Count Walewski's Despatch of the 20th of 
January came to be known through having been presented 
to Parliament, it was read by minds already disposed to view 
it in a light very different from that in which it had been 
regarded by Lord Clarendon and the Cabinet. To them it 

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188 ENGLISH GOVERNMENT BRING IN 1858 

had seemed, — somewhat unnecessarily, no doubt, — to call 
attention to facts of which they were already painfully cogni- 
sant, and for which they were at that moment actually 
devising a remedy, and not to demand any disclaimer of the 
imputation which more passionate critics believed it to 
contain. Neither did they read in it any call upon England 
to alter her laws to meet the wishes of the French Emperor. 
But regarding it as a not unnatural appeal to a friendly 
Government to prevent, if possible, the recurrence of similar 
incidents, tbey thought it best not to reply to it by a formal 
despatch, in which it might have been difficult to avoid saying 
something which might have added to the soreness already 
existing on the French side, and in which, moreover, it would 
have been impossible to gainsay the facts that had been brought 
by Count Walewski to our notice. But not a moment was 
lost in making the French Government aware, through the 
usual official channels of personal communication, that while 
no consideration on earth would induce Parliament to pass 
an Alien Bill, we required no inducement to set in motion 
our law against conspiracy, provided we had evidence to go 
upon, and that the Government had already instructed the 
Attorney-General to consider whether that law required to 
be amended. 

The Emperor and his advisers soon became aware of the 
mistake that had been made. Nothing was further from 
their thoughts and wishes than a rupture with England, and 
no sooner was the Emperor's attention called to the out- 
rageous language of the objectionable Addresses, than he 
authorised his Minister to express his regret that they should 
have been received or allowed to appear in the Moniteur. 
In introducing the Conspiracy Bill Lord Palmerston men- 
tioned this fact, and it was not without effect upon the vote 
on the Bill. But the discussion which then took place revealed 
a strong feeling of dissatisfaction that Count Walewski's 

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1858 CONSPIRACY BILL. 189 

Despatch had not been officially answered. The Government, 
Mr. Sidney Herbert contended, had abnegated its proper 
duty, and had left to the House of Commons the duty of 
answering that Despatch. The suggestion was not lost 
upon those who were predisposed to test Lord Palmerston's 
waning hold upon a House where, by the admission of his 
biographer, 'his manner had become more brusque and 
dictatorial than was altogether pleasing to the members.' 

Accordingly a few nights afterwards (19th February), Lord 
Palmerston's motion for the second reading of the Conspiracy 
Bill was met by an amendment moved by Mr. Milner 
Gibson, skilfully framed to secure a wide support, which 
expressed regret that the Government, before inviting the 
House to amend the law of conspiracy, had not felt it to be 
their duty to reply to Count Walewski's Despatch. The 
amendment was supported not only by the Radicals who had 
opposed the first reading of the Bill, but also by Mr. Glad- 
stone and the Peelites, as well as by the chiefs of the 
Opposition. * What satisfaction,' said Mr. Disraeli, ' was it 
to the country that some indefinite words were dropped in a 
conversation ? The Government had acted in a perplexed, 
timid, and confused manner, deficient in dignity and self- 
respect. The Despatch ought to have been answered in a 
spirit worthy of the occasion. A great opportunity had 
been lost of asserting the principles of public law.' Men 
like Lord Clarendon or Lord Palmerston, it might have been 
thought, were safe from the suspicion of being likely to 
sacrifice either the dignity or self-respect of the Cabinet to 
the demands of any foreign potentate. But the majority of 
the House were not disposed to give them credit for having 
done what was best to conciliate France, labouring as she 
was under a not unnatural irritation, without at the same 
time compromising British independence, and declared its 
approval of what was in effect a vote of censure on the Go- 

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190 VOTE ADVERSE TO GOVERNMENT. 1858 

vernment, by a majority of 19 on a division in which 459 
members voted. 

It is a striking comment on the hastiness of this vote, 
that so soon as Lord Clarendon had an opportunity of 
putting the whole facts fully before the country, it was 
apparent that the Government had acted firmly, and with a 
commendable prudence. On the 1st of March he had this 
opportunity, after Lord Derby had made the usual ministerial 
statement on acceding to office as Lord Palmerston's suc- 
cessor. So complete was his vindication, that in reporting 
the proceedings of the evening by letter to the Queen, Lord 
Derby said : ' Lord Clarendon made an admirable speech in 
explanation of the course which the late Government pursued, 
and which, had it been delivered in the House of Commons 
on the subject of the amendment, would probably have 
deprived Lord Derby of the honour of addressing your 
Majesty on the present occasion.' 

After a defeat on such a question the Government had no 
alternative but to resign, for although it was due to an 
accidental combination of parties, it implied a condemnation 
of their conduct in a matter of so much gravity, that they 
felt they could not carry on the government with honour 
or advantage to the public service. The adverse majority 
was unquestionably due in a great measure to the Conserva- 
tive vote; nevertheless, Lord Derby, when Bent for by the 
Queen, was by no means anxious to undertake the duty of 
forming a government. He disclaimed all privity in the 
preparation of Mr. Milner Gibson's motion, which had been 
so worded that it was difficult for the Conservatives not to vote 
for it, especially those of their number who had only been re- 
strained by his influence from voting against the first reading 
of the Bill. But, however convenient the temporary ac- 
cession of Lord Derby and his friends to power might be for 
those who wished to displace Lord Palmerston, with a view to 



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1858 THEY RESIGN. 191 

the reconstruction at no distant date of a Libera] Govern- 
ment of different elements, and possibly under a different 
chief, Lord Derby was painfully impressed with the hardship 
and difficulty of being called upon to conduct the government 
with a majority of two to one against him, and this at a time 
when the relations of the country, both external and internal, 
were in a most complicated position, with imminent difficulties 
in France, a war in Tndia and in China, the India Bill intro- 
duced, and a fieform Bill promised. There were, besides, as 
he urged upon Her Majesty, resignations and resignations. 
Was it certain, that Lord Palmerston's resignation was not for 
the purpose of going through a crisis in order to come back 
with new strength? Lord Derby, therefore, asked time 
for deliberation, which was granted by Her Majesty, on the 
understanding that, if the request to form an administration 
should be made to him, it would be accepted. 

The proposal of the friends of the Government, many of 
whom were aghast at the consequence of their own vote, to 
secure for them a vote of confidence from the House of Com- 
mons, was firmly rejected. In these circumstances it was 
clear, that Lord Derby was the only man who could form a 
Government, and on being again applied to by the Queen he 
undertook the task. The great questions which had divided 
tbem in former years having been determined, he hoped and 
sought to strengthen his Government by including in it Mr. 
Gladstone, Mr. Sidney Herbert, the Duke of Newcastle, and 
Earl Grey. But failing in this, he was driven to fall back 
chiefly upon the members of his former administration. 

Things were in this state, when the Prince wrote (22nd 
February) the following letter to Baron Stockmar : — 

* Here we are in the middle of a Ministerial crisis, and of 
a bad state % of matters in politics. Lord Palmerston, who 
only trt> days ago had still a majority, has been hit upon the 



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192 LETTER OF PRINCE CONSORT. 1858 

same question. For this we have to thank the heedlessness 
of Louis Napoleon, who ought to have known better than to 
suffer England to be insulted by his lieutenants. The ex- 
citement in the country is tremendous, and at this moment 
Lord Palmerston is the most unpopular of men. It is quite 
ludicrous to hear his old worshippers talk of him. In the 
Lower House they would scarcely let him open his mouth, 
but regularly hooted him down. The motion on which 
Radicals, Peelites, and Tories were able to unite against the 
Ministry, was framed with extreme dexterity by Lord John, 
in concert with Sir James Graham, and given to Milner 
Gibson to fire off. . . . 

' Victoria has entrusted Lord Derby with the formation of 
a new Ministry. . . . The Peelites and Lord Grey have re- 
fused to join him, and declined office. Thus we have a 
repetition of the old patriotic spirit (?), and no prospect of 
getting a stable Ministry. Lord Ellenborough is a new in- 
auspicious element in the Derby administration. He wishes 
for himself India or the War Department. . . . Twenty 
thousand people assembled in Hyde Park yesterday with 
the cry " Down with the French!" When this excitement has 
passed off, calmer reason will reassert itself, and the country 
acknowledge that it got itself into a mess. 

4 What did Lord Palmerston immense harm, was the 
appointment of Lord Clanricarde as Privy Seal. . . . Mean- 
while the Bill against conspiracy has been brought in with a 
large majority, and the Indian Bill with a majority of 200, 
whilst the Tories have pronounced violently against it. . . . 
The funds are going down, and the City makes long faces. 5 

* From France we get tidings daily of increasing exaspera- 
tion against the Government. General Espinasse is generally 
detested, dreaded, and despised. Pelissier is sulky < d'avoir 

* The funds fell three per cent, in Prance on the announcement of Lord 
Palmerston's resignation. 



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1858 NEW MINISTRY. 193 

OS compromis sans sa permission en se voyant placi dans 
le conseil de regence.* 

4 Here you have materials for reflection, which I can only 
fling to you in haste in this fragmentary way. You will 
draw your own conclusions from tbem.' 

The new administration, as we have said, presented few 
new names. Mr. Disraeli appeared in it as Chancellor of the 
Exchequer, Lord Malmesbury as Foreign Secretary, Mr. 
Walpole as Home Secretary, Lord Stanley as Secretary of 
State for the Colonies, Sir John Pakington, as First Lord of 
the Admiralty, General Peel, as Secretary of State for War, 
Lord Ellenborough, as President of the Board of Control, Sir 
Frederick Thesiger, as Lord Chancellor, with Sir Fitzroy 
Kelly and Mr. Cairns as Attorney and Solicitor General. It 
was felt that as they entered upon office reluctantly and 
under very unfavourable conditions, they were entitled to a 
generous forbearance on the part of their opponents. But on 
this no Ministry can confidently count, which is lifted into 
office rather through the momentary divisions of its adver- 
saries than by the voice of the nation. The opportunity of 
gaining official experience was, however, sufficiently valuable 
to reconcile them to the drawbacks under which they were 
sure to labour, and they entered on their task with energy 
and courage. On the 1st of March Lord Derby made a full 
statement to the House of Lords of his intended measures 
and course of policy. The Walewski Despatch was to be 
answered, the Conspiracy Bill to be dropped, a New India 
Bill to be introduced, and the question of Reform postponed 
till the following year. The statement was well received. 
Parliament was adjourned for the election of the members 

• One of the first acts of the Emperor of the French, after the Orsini 
attempt, was to appoint a Council of Regency. The bluff old soldier did not 
apparently like to have his name associated -with some of his coadjutors upon 
the Council. 



VOL. IV. 



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194 LETTER OF THE PRINCE. 1858 

of Government who had vacated their seats, and the Court 
took advantage of the Kecess to retire to Osborne. 

On the 5th of March the Prince wrote from there to Baron 
Stockmar : — 

4 1 am longing for an answer to my letter of the 15th, in 
which I spoke of certain plans. Every day brings inquiries 
about my engagements for the current season, which must 
be answered and settled, and yet which may make it quite 
impossible to carry out my projected plan. It is, therefore, 
indispensable for me to come to a decision about it, and yet 
I would rather not do so till I have heard from you. Pray 
write me a little line. We go back on the 15th to town, 
when Lord Derby will open his campaign. On the Saturday 
before Palm Sunday we go to Windsor. The confirmation 
of the Prince of Wales is to take place there on Maundy 
Thursday. At the end of April the Hohenzollern family 
comes here with the young Queen of Portugal, and proceeds 
to Lisbon early in May. In the beginning of April we have 
the visit of Prince George of Saxony at Windsor. So far, 
therefore, there would be no time free. 

i From Berlin the tenor of the news continues excellent. 
Vicky appears to go on pleasing, and being pleased. She is 
an extremely fortunate, animating, and tranquillising ele- 
ment in that region of conflict and indecision. Your son 
proves himself extremely valuable. Vicky's letters to us are 
touching by their simplicity, open-heartedness {Kindlichkeit\ 
truth and warmth, and excite astonishment and respect by 
the depth of penetration and the soundness of understand- 
ing and judgment which they display. 

* Our Derby Ministry is now complete, somewhat better 
than the last, viz. his last, but whether it can stand, the 
gods only know. His programme, which you will have 
seen in The Times, was good and able. Lord Palmerston's 

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1858 STATE OF FRANCE. 195 

sudden decline in popularity was a remarkable phenomenon. 
He would have been turned out that same week upon a 
motion directly blaming the appointment of Lord Clan- 
ricarde, had he not been turned out on the Eefugee 
question ! 

'In France the state of things is extremely critical. 
Arrests multiply, et la terreur rlgne. What can be the 
meaning of Changarnier's recall ? Have you any key to it ? 
I see in it the necessity of finding in case of a war an able 
general, and this the Emperor has not had at his command 
up to this hour. The state of the army is sure to be restless 
and undisciplined. In this respect the Addresses must have 
done great harm.' 

The Amnesty implied in General Changarnier's recall 
failed to conciliate him, and only provoked a letter to the 
Belgian journals, in which he declined in strong language to 
forget the events of December 1851, which had constrained 
him to quit France. 



o 2 



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196 



CHAPTER LXXXIV. 

When the Emperor of the French learned from Lord 
Derby's speech that the Conspiracy Bill would not be pro- 
ceeded with, his vexation and disappointment were at first 
great. The passing of the Bill would have helped to 
appease the angry spirit which his own indiscretion had 
helped to foment in a oertain section of his followers, and 
which had been made the most of, for their own purpose, by 
the plotters against the Anglo-French Alliance. But that 
alliance was too important to the Emperor's position, and he 
prized it too sincerely, to allow it to be jeopardised by per- 
sisting in demands which the outburst of feeling in England 
had shown him would never be conceded. Once persuaded 
that the measure was one which no Ministry could carry, he 
was certain to see the wisdom of letting the subject drop. 
To satisfy him on this head, therefore, became the first 
object of the Government, and they were materially assisted 
in this by the confidence which the Emperor felt in Lord 
Cowley, who remained as Ambassador in Paris notwithstand- 
ing the change of Ministry, and by the frankness with which 
he discussed this question with his lordship, as, indeed, he was 
in the habit of discussing with him all questions that affected 
the interests of the two countries. Lord Cowley had even the 
courage to suggest that as such a measure, unless carried by 
what was clearly not to be hoped for, the almost unanimous 
consent of Parliament, could be no satisfaction to France, the 
Emperor would place himself in a far better position with 

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1858 RELATIONS WITH FRANCE. 197 

England, were he himself to request that all further discussion 
on the subject should drop. 

The frank explanations exchanged by Lord Cowley with both 
the Emperor and Count Walewski, in those friendly conver- 
sations which the French call ' diplomatic iwiimej aided by 
the gradual cooling down of the factitious excitement against 
England in Paris, soon led to an adjustment satisfactory on 
both sides. Count Walewski's obnoxious Despatch of the 20th 
of January was answered in a Despatch by Lord Malmesbury 
to Lord Cowley, written to be communicated to Count Walew- 
ski. In this answer Count Walewski's attention was called to 
the imputation which seemed to be conveyed by the language 
of his Despatch, that not only were the offences of which it 
complained not recognised as offences by the English law, 
and such as might be committed with impunity, but that the 
spirit of English legislation was such as designedly to shelter 
and screen the offender from punishment. A conviction was 
expressed that, whatever the words might import, it could not 
have been Count Walewski's intention to convey an imputation 
of this kind, 'injurious alike to the morality and honour of the 
British nation,' and that he would not hesitate, 6 with that frank- 
ness which has characterised his conduct, to offer an explana- 
tion which cannot fail to remove any existing misconception.' 

The strongest assurances were given orally by Count Walew- 
ski to Lord Cowley, when this Despatch was read to him, that 
he had never intended to do more than to call attention to 
the acts of certain conspirators against the Emperor's life, 
who had used England as the base for their machinations, 
but that he had never pointed out, 'or intended to point 
out, a remedy for them. It was for the English Government 
and the English nation alone to determine in what manner, 
and in what measure, a remedy could be applied.' — (Despatch, 
Lord Cowley to Lord Malrnesbury, 8th March, 1858.) Count 
de Persigny was also instructed, in a Despatch (11th March) 

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198 RELATIONS WITH FRANCE. 1858 

from Count Walewski, to reiterate these assurances in un- 
qualified terms, and the following paragraph of the Despatch 
brought the differences between the Governments to an 
honourable close : — 

1 In giving these assurances to the Principal Secretary of State 
you will add, that the Emperor's intentions having been misun4er- 
stood, His Majesty's Government will abstain from continuing 
a discussion, which, if prolonged, might injuriously affect the 
dignity and good understanding of the two countries, and will 
place its reliance purely and simply on the loyalty of the English 
people.' 

Lord Malmesbury received this Despatch in time to enable 
Mr. Disraeli to open the business of the Session (12th March) 
by informing the House of Commons that the ' painful mis- 
conceptions ' which had for some time existed between 
England and France had been terminated in a friendly and 
honourable spirit. This was a triumph for the new Govern- 
ment, all the more that a solution so speedy and satisfactory 
of a difference envenomed by jealous and angry feelings on 
both sides had not been anticipated. 

The announcement was very welcome to the country, which 
had gained its point in letting the Sovereigns of the Continent 
see that it would not brook interference with its domestic 
laws. But the arrangement, to the general surprise, was 
followed by the resignation of Count de Persigny, who, as 
Ambassador at the English Court, had hitherto proved 
himself a warm friend of the English alliance. This step, it 
soon became known to the diplomatic world, was taken, not 
in consequence of any change in his views in this respect, 
but out of personal mortification at finding that an arrange- 
ment had been concluded by his rival, Count Walewski, in 
opposition to his views, and, indeed, without even making 
him aware of its terms, until after they had become known 
to the English Government. 



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1858 DUC DE MALAKOFF. 199 

The struggle for influence between the Emperor's Ministers 
was only interesting to the English Government, inasmuch 
as they placed greater reliance upon the superior ability and 
loyalty of Count de Persigny, and because they had reason 
to apprehend that his successor, if left to be nominated by 
Count Wale wski, would prove less independent and less devoted 
to the English alliance than they had always found Count de 
Persigny. But the Emperor took the matter into his own 
hands, and determined to have, not a friend of his Minister's, 
but of his own, at the Court of St. James's. Accordingly, he 
appointed General Pelissier, Duke of MalakofT, to the post, 
thus marking emphatically his determination that the 
friendly relations between the two Courts should not be 
disturbed. The Duke was no diplomatist, but he was honest, 
he had good sense, he had always been loud in his admira- 
tion of the English army, and be had not been backward in 
expressing his disgust at the bombast of the offensive military 
Addresses : — 

' Pray tell the Queen,' Lord Cowley wrote (22nd March) to 
Lord Malmesbury, ' that it is impossible to doubt the sincerity of 
the compliment which is intended in the proof, which his nomina- 
tion gives, of the value which the Emperor, spite of his momentary 
vagaries, places on the English alliance. There could not be a 
greater reparation for the offence given by the Addresses, than 
by sending the greatest man in the army to maintain friendly 
relations.' 

A few days after the formation of Lord Derby's Ministry, 
Count de Persigny said to Lord Clarendon, that they had 
prepared for themselves a heritage de rupture by the con- 
currence of their party in the vote which had driven Lord 
Palmerston from power. Thus far at least they had escaped 
the threatened danger, for not even those whom they had 
succeeded could have hoped to bring the discussions with 
the Court of the Tuileries to a speedier or more satisfactory 

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200 GOVERNMENT OF INDIA BILL. 1858 

close. But they were not equally successful in the measure 
they were called on to propose for dealing with the other 
great question, the settlement of which they inherited from 
their predecessors. 

After the line of opposition which they had taken up to 
the Government of India Bill of Lord Palmerston's Cabinet, 
they could not adopt it, but were bound to introduce a Bill 
of their own. The constitution of the body, by whom the 
government of India was to be carried on, after its transfer 
to the Crown, was obviously the all-important feature of any 
measure that might be introduced. Lord Palmerston's Bill 
had placed it in a Council to be nominated exclusively by 
the Crown, the members of which were to have the qualifi- 
cation of experience in Indian affairs gained by not less than 
ten years' service for the Crown or the East India Company. 
This principle, it might have been thought, was one that 
could not be objectionable to a Conservative Government, as 
it only applied to the government of India the rules which 
the English Constitution had established for the government 
of every other department of the State. But they appear to 
have been carried away by the idea, that, as the commercial 
element had always been largely represented in the Court of 
Directors, this element should have a special voice upon the 
new India Council. Accordingly they determined that of a 
Council of eighteen, four should be elected by holders of 
East India Stock, the holders of Stock in Railways or other 
public works in India, and by persons who had been for ten 
years in India as commissioners, officers in the Queen's army, 
or in the military or naval service of the East India Company, 
or as civil servants either of the Company or of the Queen. 
Five more were to be purely elective. Of these, London, 
Manchester, Liverpool, Glasgow, and Belfast were each to 
have the power of electing one, subject to the qualification 
that he had been five years engaged in commerce between 

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1858 GOVERNMENT OF INDIA BILL. 201 

India and the United Kingdom, or in the manufacture of 
goods for exportation to India, or at least ten years resident 
in India. 

When the draft of the Bill was submitted to the Queen, 
it was studied by Her Majesty and the Prince with the care 
which the importance of the measure demanded. This 
resulted in several suggestions being made by them, all of 
which, with one exception, were adopted* That exception 
was the scheme for electing members on the Council, but 
Lord Ellenborough was too much wedded to the plan, to 
yield to the objections urged against it on the part of the 
Queen. In writing to him (26th March) expressing her 
satisfaction that the other suggestions had been acted upon, 
Her Majesty added, that she still felt * the greatest appre- 
hension as to the political soundness and wisdom of the 
clause giving to the 10J. householders of Manchester, Liver- 
pool, Belfast, Glasgow, and the City of London, the election 
of five members of the Council, the constituency not being 
either directly interested in India, nor at all peculiarly fit 
to judge of Indian matters, and the arbitrary selection of 
five towns out of the three kingdoms not appearing to the 
Queen a just distribution of an important political right. 
She is afraid that these elections will be turbulent and 
democratic, and that the effect of the inadequate popular 
representation will be a future desire to give the nine seats 
to be filled by the nomination of the Crown to other great 
towns, which the Crown will have difficulty in resisting, as 
the principle of an English Parliamentary constituency is 
admitted into the Bill. The Prince has explained these 
objections at length to Lord Derby and Mr. Disraeli, but as 
the Cabinet have considered the objectionable clause an 
absolutely necessary one to ensure the passing of the Bill, she 
has not pressed further its alteration* but thought it right to 
mention the circumstance herself to Lord Ellenborough.' 

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202 DISCUSSIONS IN HOUSE OF COMMONS 1858 

The same day the Queen received a letter from Lord 
Ellenborough with a copy of the Bill, showing the alterations 
made in pursuance of what he calls Vthe Prince Consort's 
valuable and constitutional suggestions,' and expressing deep 
regret that every part of the Bill did not meet with Her 
Majesty's 'full approbation.' He then vindicated his pro- 
posal of elective members on the ground that commercial 
interests ought to be represented on the Council, and that 
any other mode of electing commercial men than that pro- 
posed by the Bill would certainly be rejected by the House 
of Commons. 

But his conviction and that of the Cabinet that the intro- 
duction of the clause objected to by the Queen was essential 
to secure the passing of the Bill by commanding the votes 
of the advanced Liberals, who had it in their power to turn 
the scale upon a division, was destined to be very rapidly 
dispelled. For when the same evening the Bill was intro- 
duced by Mr. Disraeli (26th March), although it had been 
arranged that the discussion should be one of exposition and 
not of controversy, this feature of the Bill was vehemently 
assailed by Mr. Eoebuck and Mr. Bright. The former 
charged it with ' giving the colour of popular support to the 
really despotic character of the government to be established. 
From beginning to end the proposal was a great sham.' 
Mr. Bright more skilfully attacked the principle on constitu- 
tional grounds : — 

* He did not attach much importance/ he said, ' to the theory 
which had been advanced with regard to the popular election of 
members of the Council. The judges of the land were not elected 
by the constituencies of the United Kingdom, but yet they were 
usually and properly looked upon as being independent of the 
Crown, and of Parliament ; and he thought that members of the 
Council not chosen by election would perform their duties just as 
well as those who might be elected by old Indians, or by Man- 
chester manufacturers, or merchants who some time in their live* 



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1858 ON GOVERNMENT OF INDIA BILL. 203 

bad exported goods to India. He -was afraid that the proposition 
that four or five large constituencies should elect those Coun- 
cillors savoured of what was generally called claptrap.' 

These words carried greater weight from the fact that 
Mr. Bright followed them up by a declaration of friendliness 
to the Government so great, that if a change of Ministry 
involved the return of their predecessors to office, ' no man 
could be more desirous than himself of keeping them in the 
position they now occupied.' 

' The subject, however,' he continued, 'was one far beyond the 
consideration as to which side of the House the noble lord the 
member for Tiverton should sit.' 

Mr. Bright therefore urged the Cabinet to reconsider 
during the approaching Easter recess some of the provisions 
of their Bill. 

' He hoped that the result of that reconsideration would be a 
measure founded on broad, general, and simple principles, for 
there was no scheme so foolish as a complicated scheme, which, 
by various ramifications, tended to catch somebody here and 
somebody there, or indirectly to grapple with one thing on the 
one side and with something else on the other.' 

In these pregnant words, Mr. Bright anticipated the all 
but universal and instant condemnation of the public journals, 
which in other respects acknowledged the merits of the Bill. 
But the strongest confirmation of the justice of the objections 
urged in Her Majesty's letter was contained in a letter from 
Lord Derby to Her Majesty next day (27th March), in which 
he said : ' The Indian Bill was on the whole favourably re- 
ceived last night ; but the general opinion certainly appeared 
adverse to the clauses giving a right of election to the 
parliamentary constituencies of five great towns, and in 
accordance with the objections which his Boyal Highness the 
Prince Consort had stated to those provisions.' 



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204 LETTER OF THE PRINCE, 1858 

On the day on which this letter was received, the Prince 
wrote to Baron Stockmar ; but even to that confidential friend 
he was silent as to the way his objection to the dangerous 
element in the India Bill had been confirmed by the public 
voice : — 

4 To-day we go to Windsor, where Bertie's confirmation is 
to take place on Maundy Thursday. 

4 1 never remember to have had so much to do as I have 
had lately. The change of Government, the India Bill, the 
French difficulties, the educational requirements, &c. &c., 
have especially contributed to this. . . . 

4 With France matters have once more been put upon a 
good footing. Her ruler, however, required the lesson. The 
Joss of Persigny is a great loss for us ; still Pelissier will 
certainly do all in his power to uphold the alliance conscien- 
tiously. He comes after Easter. His appointment is a 
deadly blow to Walewski, who had tripped up poor Per- 
signy's heels, but with the view of appointing a creature of 
his own in his place. The Emperor, however, wishes to 
have a personal representative here. 

4 Brunnow had reckoned upon Moustier from Berlin, whom 
he would have had in his pocket, and through him Walewski. 
Now he gets the Duke of Malakoff ! He has not yet been 
able to realise the position, and is by way of being extremely 
confidential ; it is he alone who has made Vicky's marriage 
popular in Berlin, where it was at first very unpopular, and 
he weeps tears of emotion when he speaks of her ! He was 
never finer ! 

1 Buckingham Palace, 27th March, 1858.' 

The Easter recess brought a temporary lull in the poli- 
tical world. But in regard to the India Bill, it was obvious 
that it could not pass unless greatly modified. Had the 
Opposition been able to close their ranks, it might have been 

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1858 VISIT TO GERMANY PROJECTED. 205 

the means of unseating the Ministry. But, on the one 
hand, the body of Liberals hostile to Lord Palmerston were 
determined not to bring him back to power, and, on the other, 
Lord John Bussell had not yet foregone his hopes of being 
the next Liberal Premier. He was therefore by no means 
disposed to force matters to a crisis, and, in fact, he proved 
in the end a valuable ally of Lord Derby's administration in 
enabling them to get their India Bill into an acceptable 
form. 

The Prince glances at this deadlock of parties in the 
letter to Baron Stockmar presently to be quoted, in which he 
dwells upon the project on which he had set his heart, of a 
visit to Germany in May, to see the Princess Boyal and her 
husband (see supra, p. 178) : — 

i At last I receive a sign of life from you, in your last 
letter of the 27th, which reached me yesterday. It does not 
give me the opinion I asked for, but I assume " that silence 
means consent," and that you have nothing to urge against 
the plan of the rendezvous in Coburg, although it possesses 
nothing like the advantage of the other plan, over the prac- 
ticability of which you now cast a doubt. Now I must try 
to find out whether my own is not, owing to time and cir- 
cumstances, impracticable also. I have only ten days left 
after Whitsuntide, from about the 25th of May to the 5th of 
June. Whether the state of our political world will then 
admit of my being away, I cannot as yet determine. 

' The India Bill will in no case pass in its present shape, 
in which it comprises an exceedingly dangerous democratic 
element ; disposed although the Ministry is to make all sorts 
of concessions, the decision of Derby's fate will depend purely 
on whether Lords Palmerston and John Russell are reconciled, 
and come to an understanding about their own concerns. 

' They were all three yesterday at the confirmation of the 

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206 THE PRINCE OF WALES. 1858 

Prince of Wales, which went off with great solemnity, and, I 
hope, with an abiding impression on his mind. The previous 
day his examination took place before the Archbishop and 
ourselves. Wellesley prolonged it a full hour, and Bertie 
acquitted himself extremely well. To-day we take the 
Sacrament with him. 1 

' Next week he is to make a run for fourteen days to the 
South of Ireland with Mr. Gibbs, Captain de Eos, and Dr. 
Minter, by way of recreation. When he returns to London 
he is to take up his residence at the White Lodge in Rich- 
mond Park, so as to be away from the world and devote him- 
self exclusively to study and prepare for a military examina- 
tion. As companions for him we have appointed three very 
distinguished young men of from twenty-three to twenty-six 
years of age, who are to occupy in monthly rotation a kind 
of equerry's place about him, and from whose more intimate 
intercourse I anticipate no small benefit to Bertie. They 
are Lord Valietort, the eldest son of Lord Mount Edgcumbe, 
who has been much on the Continent, is a thoroughly good, 
moral, and accomplished man, draws well and plays, and 
never was at a public school, but passed his youth in atten- 
dance on his invalid father ; Major Teesdale, of the Artillery, 
who distinguished himself greatly at Kars, where he was 
aide-de-camp and factotum of Sir Fenwick Williams ; 
Major Lindsay,* of the Scots Fusilier Guards, who received 
the Victoria Cross for Alma and Inkermann (as Teesdale did 
for Kars), where he carried the colours of the regiment, and 
by his courage drew upon himself the attention of the whole 
army. He is studious in his habits, lives little with the 

1 In The Early Years of the Prince Consort, p. 331, a Memorandum by Her 
Majesty is quoted, in which it is said, ' The Prince had a very strong feeling 
about the solemnity of this act, and did not like to appear in company either 
the evening before or on the day on which he took the Sacrament ; and he and 
the Queen almost always dined alone on these occasions.' 

1 Now better known as Colonel Loyd Lindsay. 



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1858 THE PRINCESS ROYAL. 207 

other young officers, is fond of study, familiar with French, 
and especially so with Italian, spent a portion of his youth 
in Italy, won the first prize last week under the regimental 
adjutant for the new rifle drill, and resigned his excellent 
post as aide-de-camp of Sir James Simpson, that he might 
be able to work as lieutenant in the trenches. 

* Besides these three, only Mr. Gibbs and Mr, Tarver will 
go with him to Richmond. As future governor, when Gibbs 
retires at the beginning of next year, I have as yet been 
able to think of no one as likely to suit, except Colonel Bruce, 
Lord Elgin's brother, and his military secretary in Canada, 
who now commands one of the battalions of Grenadier 
Guards, and lives much with his mother in Paris. He has 
all the amiability of his sister, with great mildness of expres- 
sion, and is full of ability. 

4 As to Vicky, I think I shall best give you a glimpse into 
her state of mind by sending you a copy of her last letter to 
her mother. Unquestionably she will turn out a very dis- 
tinguished character, whom Prussia will have cause to bless. 
I write to her every Wednesday by the courier, and every 
Monday receive a letter from her by the same channel. We 
discourse in this way on general topics, whilst she writes to 
her mother almost daily, frequently twice a day, and gives 
the details of her life. 

'Will you try to see her in Gotha, where she is to be 
for two days next week ? 

' Little Beatrice is an extremely attractive, pretty, intelli- 
gent child, indeed the most amusing baby we have had. 

•Windsor Castle, 2nd April, 1858.' 

Of the letteis here spoken of, written at this period by the 
Prince every Wednesday to his daughter in Berlin, the cha- 
racter may be estimated by a few extracts. Thus on the 
10th of March he writes to her from Osborne : — 

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ao8 LETTERS BY PRINCE CONSORT 1858 

6 . . . You seem to have taken up your position . . . with 
much tact. . . . Howl long to see you, and to hear from you 
those impressions which your first entrance from childhood into 
life, into that difficult struggle and severe school, must have 
made upon your heart and mind. To be deprived of every 
opportunity of watching that important process in a dear 
child's development, is indeed a great trial. The bandage 
has been torn from your eyes all at once as regards all the 
greatest mysteries of life, and you stand not only of a sudden 
before them, but are called upon to deal with them, and 
that too on the spur of the moment. " Oh ! It is indeed 
most hard to be a man," was the constant cry of the 
old Wurtemberg Minister von Wangenheim, and he was 
right 1' 

Again a few days afterwards, in commenting upon the 
sensation of home-sickness felt by the Princess, the meta- 
physical tendency of the Prince's mind finds vent: — 

4 That you should sometimes be oppressed by home- 
sickness is most natural. This feeling, which I know right 
well, will be sure to increase with the sadness which the 
reviving spring and the quickening of all nature that comes 
with it, always develop in the heart. It is a painful yearn- 
ing, which may exist quite independently of, and simulta- 
neously with, complete contentment and complete happiness. 
I explain this hard-to-be-comprehended mental phenomenon 
thus. The identity of the individual is, so to speak, in- 
terrupted ; and a kind of Dualism springs up by reason of 
this, that the I which has been, with all its impressions, 
remembrances, experiences, feelings, which were also those 
of youth, is attached to a particular spot, with its local 
and personal associations, and appears to what may be called 
the new I like a vestment of the soul which has been lost, 
from which nevertheless the new I cannot disconnect itself, 

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1858 TO PRINCESS ROYAL, 209 

because its identity is in fact continuous. Hence r tbe pain- 
ful struggle, I might almost say, spasm of the soul. 

4 1 hope I have not grown too abstruse. Think, however, 
on what I have said ; perhaps you will extract something 
better from it.' 

A few days later, the Prince has to tell his daughter of 
his hope of making out his cherished scheme of a visit to 
Coburg to meet her, and he writes : — 

4 My whole stay in Coburg can only be for six days, but 
what delight would these six days be to me, after thirteen 
years' absence to be once more in my old home, and to see 
you again ! To see you and Fritz together in a quiet homely 
way (gemihthlich), without visits of ceremony, &c. I dare 
not picture it to myself too strongly, and yet I must mention 
it now, if it is to be brought about at all. Talk it over with 
Fritz, and let me know if I can count on you. but do not let 
the plan get wind, otherwise people will be paying us visits, 
and our meeting will lose its pleasant private character. 

6 Beatrice, on her first birthday, looks charming with a new 
light blue cap. Her table of birthday gifts has given her the 
greatest pleasure, especially a lamb.' 

The Easter Recess afforded an opportunity to the Govern- 
ment to reconsider the question of their India Bill, which 
had met with general condemnation. In a speech at the 
Mansion House on the 6th of April, Lord Derby made an 
appeal for forbearance, which the country at least, if not tbe 
Opposition, was not indisposed to grant. He claimed credit 
to his Ministry for having lost no time in framing a measure 
which they had been very unexpectedly called upon to take 
up, and for having placed it before the country previous to 
the Recess, in order that it might be subjected to investiga- 
tion and inquiry : — 

vol. iy. P 

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2io GOVERNMENT OF INDIA BILL. 1858 

'We court, • he said, ' the co-operation and advice of Parlia- 
ment, and of the country, with the view of rendering the change 
which we propose as safe and beneficial as we earnestly desire 
that it may prove to be. The one thing which we alone depre- 
cate — and whichwe deprecate, not for the sake of the Government 
of the day, but on account of the important interests involved 
in this country and in India — is that a question involving 
such mighty interests, and of such overwhelming importance, 
should be made the sport of political parties or the battlefield of 
rival disputants.* 

In these words Lord Derby seems to have desired to prepare 
the public mind for the policy on which his Cabinet had de- 
cided, of taking the opinion of the House of Commons on 
ihe main principles of an India Bill in the shape of Resolu- 
tions, in accordance with which a new Bill might be moulded, 
rather than encounter the hazard of almost certain defeat in 
a division on a second reading of their original BilL 

Singularly enough Lord John Bussell, anxious, to use his 
own words, to prevent a discussion on that Bill ' partaking of 
a party character, which must be injurious to the question 
itself," had come to the same conclusion as to the wisdom of 
proceeding by way of Resolutions to obtain the mind of Par- 
liament on the salient principles of the contemplated 
measure. It was thought at the time, that he was not a 
little influenced in coming to this conclusion by a desire to 
defeat any movement of Lord Paknerston and his friends to 
overturn the Ministry, while he should at the same time 
secure for himself a great position as mediator on a question 
of imperial magnitude. However this may be, the fact that 
Lord John Russell intended to suggest the plan indicated, 
and that he had even prepared a series of Resolutions, was 
confidentially communicated to Mr. Disraeli, a few minutes 
before he was on the point of rising in the House of Commons, 
on the first day of its reassembling (12th April), to announce 
the intention of the Government to propose a similar course- 



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1858 GOVERNMENT OF INDIA BILL. 211 

He therefore confined himself to intimating that his financial 
statement would be made on the 19th, and that the second 
reading of the India Bill, which had been already appointed 
for that day, would therefore be postponed. 

It was manifestly a great advantage to the Ministry, that 
the course on which they had themselves resolved should be 
suggested by a statesman on the other side of the House so 
distinguished as Lord John Russell. Had they been stronger, 
however, they might have afforded to dispense with this ad- 
vantage, and Mr, Disraeli would probably have felt himself 
less pressed than he seems to have been by the consideration 
that, having himself introduced a Bill, it would be ungracious 
to interfere with the Resolutions of an independent member, 
and one so weighty and distinguished. When, therefore, Lord 
John Russell made his proposal in a calm and conciliatory 
6peech 9 Mr. Disraeli, while expressing his readiness, if agree- 
able to the House, to propose Resolutions himself, indicated 
that he should not object to let the discussion be taken on any 
Resolutions which Lord John Russell might bring forward. 
The House, however, to whose judgment the plan of Resolu- 
tions strongly commended itself, rightly determined to place 
the responsibility of preparing them upon the Government, — 
a responsibility which they naturally were by no means reluc- 
tant to accept. They were now clear of the dangers of a 
second reading of their faulty Bill, a marked division in the 
ranks of their opponents had shown itself, and they might 
therefore fairly anticipate the passing of a Bill matured in 
all its essential points by temperate discussion. 

The Government Resolutions were laid upon the table of 
the House a few days afterwards. The debate upon them did 
not commence till the 30th of April. Considerable progress 
had been made with them, and several of the most impor- 
tant had been carried by large majorities, when the very 
existence of the Government became for a time imperilled 

p2 

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212 THE MINISTERIAL BUDGET. 1858 

by an imprudence on the part of Lord Ellenborough — that 
4 inauspicious ' element of the Cabinet, as he was prophetically 
styled by the Prince (supra, p. 192) — to which we shall here- 
after have occasion to refer more in detail. 

Meanwhile the Budget introduced by Mr. Disraeli on the 
19th had been well received. The revenue had suffered by 
the depressed state of trade during the previous year, while 
the state of affairs both in India and Europe had compelled 
an increase in the national expenditure. The result was a 
deficit of nearly four millions ; but as this was chiefly caused 
by engagements to pay off debt, it indicated no falling off in 
the resources of the country. To meet this deficiency a tax 
on bankers' cheques, and an equalising of the duty on spirits 
in Ireland, were proposed and accepted ; and it was generally 
felt that the Chancellor of the Exchequer had come well out 
pf an ordeal in which his financial skill had been severely 
tested. 

The friendly relations which had recently been re-established 
with the Court of the Tuileries were somewhat disturbed 
during this month by the acquittal at the Central Criminal 
Court, after a protracted trial, of Dr. Simon Bernard, an 
accomplice of Orsini's; and even more, perhaps, by the 
unseemly exultation with which that acquittal had been 
received by a portion of the public and the press. Dr. 
Bernard had been arrested by Lord Palmerston's Government 
on the 15th of February, and committed for trial; but it 
was not till the 12th of April that his trial began. Mean- 
while Orsini and Pierri had (13th March) expiated their 
crime on the scaffold; and Orsini, in consequence of two 
letters to the Emperor of the French, appealing to him to 
become the liberator of Italy, had not only become invested 
with some of the false halo of glory through which political 
assassins have always found some eyes to regard them, but, 
what was still more strange, had gained such a hold upon 



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1858 TRIAL OF DR. BERNARD. 213 

the mind of the Emperor himself, that he had been with 
some difficulty withheld from granting him a pardon. 

If the Emperor could feel so leniently disposed, as it was 
no secret that he did, to the chief delinquent, he had not 
much right to complain of a foreign jury for refusing to find 
a verdict against an accomplice, who had not taken part in 
the actual attempt. But it is more than probable that no 
ground of complaint on this score would have been given, 
but for the angry feeling, still far from extinct, which had 
been roused in England by the foolish threats of the French 
colonels, and by the dictatorial demands of the French Govern- 
ment upon Sardinia, Switzerland, and Belgium, to which 
reference has already been made. 3 As it was, these furnished 
the theme for the ftery rhetoric of Bernard's counsel, before 
which the very damaging proofs of his active aiding and 
abetting of Orsini became of no effect. Bernard was 
acquitted, and when the decision of the jury was given, the 
court resounded with cheers, hats and handkerchiefs were 
waved, the prisoner himself waving his handkerchief in 
triumph over his head. 

Happily, the Emperor knew England too well to regard 

* Extreme pressure was put by France upon Sardinia in demands for the 
suppression of Mazzini's journal, the Italia del Popolo, the banishment of 
dangerous refugees, a new Press law, and the prohibition against articles being 
written in the journals by persons expelled from France. Anxious above all 
things as Cavour was to propitiate the Emperor of the French, as the only 
power to whom he could look for aid in his plans for emancipating Italy, he 
revolted against demands so fetal to the independence of Sardinia. Victor 
Emmanuel cut the knot of the difficulty by boldly writing to the Emperor with 
his own hand, protesting a sincere desire to please him, but at the same time 
declaring that there were certain things which he could not do ; and that, if 
driven too far, he would go, like his ancestors of Savoy, to defend his crown 
upon the Alps. The letter, like the firmness shown by the English Ministry, 
had its effect. The Emperor, wiser than his Minister, took the affair into his 
own hands ; and* Count Walewski, when he redoubled his importunities, found 
to his discomfiture that his master had written a reply to Victor Emmanuel, 
which had in effect settled matters by telling him * to do the best he could, and 
not to feel uneasy. 1 See on this subject Le Comte ds Cavour, par Charles da 
Mazade. Paris, 1877, pp. 197-202. 



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214 ACQUITTAL OF DR. BERNARD. 1858 

such an unseemly outburst of feeling in favour of the friend of 
a reckless murderer and assassin, as the expression of national 
feeling. But it was no easy task for him to bring those 
around him, who bore no love to this country, to the same 
conclusion. The very fact that Bernard's acquittal was in a 
great measure a protest against the menaces of his colonels, 
and an intimation that Englishmen would not obey the call 
of a foreign monarch to avenge him on his enemies, although 
capable of being appreciated by himself, was a fresh provoca- 
tion to those who were eager to seize any pretext for break- 
ing up the alliance. The wiser heads among those about 
him counselled silence. General Pelissier, who was now in 
England, and soon saw how thoroughly friendly to France 
the people of this country were, was among the number of 
these. ' R faut Tester impassible^ he said to the Prince, 
'pour ces sortes de choses, et laisaer couler Vecvu wu% le 
ponV In this view our Ambassador, on returning to Paris, 
after a short visit to London, found the Emperor himself 
disposed to concur. His feeling was one of regret, rather 
than of anger. His views, he told Lord Cowley, had never 
varied. He had always desired a cordial alliance with Great 
Britain, and his policy continued unchanged by what had 
occurred. But he was full of apprehension that, if things 
went on as they were doing, the people of the two countries 
might become estranged, and that all the efforts of the two 
Governments might not avail to prevent a rupture. This 
apprehension proved to be unfounded. Time, the great 
purifier of popular as well as of individual passion, wrought 
its usual effect, and the reciprocal interests of the two 
countries were not long in obliterating the traces of this 
temporary estrangement. 

Meanwhile, a more imminent danger to European peace 
lay in the controversy between Sardinia and Naples, which 
had arisen from the illegal seizure by Neapolitan cruisers, in 

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1858 CASE OF THE < CAGLIARi: 215 

June 1857, of the Cagliari, a Sardinian mail-steamer, 
running between Genoa and Cagiiari, in Sardinia, and Tunis. 
Among the crew on board were two English engineers, \yho 
had been thrown, with the rest of the crew, into a Neapolitan 
prison. Count Cavour had taken up the question warmly, 
maintaining that the capture was illegal, and had been 
made beyond Neapolitan jurisdiction* Lord Derby's Govern- 
ment had inherited this perplexed question, which was one 
that, with Count Cavour's well-known ideas about an united 
Italy, and the sympathies of the French Emperor in the 
same direction, stimulated as they had been by Orsini's 
appeal, might easily become a cause of war. England could 
not well avoid taking part in any outbreak 1 , for the cruel 
treatment of the two English engineers had enlisted the feel- 
ing of this country on the same side with Sardinia. 

Lord Derby's Government took up the question with an 
energy which contrasted favourably with the vacillating and 
timid action of their predecessors. At this time it was 
obvious that a larger issue than the surrender of the vessel 
and her crew was at stake, and the Prince, as we gather 
from his correspondence, even looked upon the peace of 
Europe as in actual danger. Thanks to the firm attitude 
taken up by the English Cabinet, this danger was for the 
time averted^ Early in June Mr. Disraeli was able to 
announce the unconditional surrender by the Neapolitan 
Government of the English engineers. An offer by our 
Government to accept the Swedish Government as mediator, 
coupled with an intimation that this was done merely to- show 
our desire for moderation, when we were entitled to accom- 
pany our demands by force, brought the Neapolitan Govern- 
ment to reason. Accordingly, a few days later Mr. Disraeli 
intimated that the difference was at an end, Naples having 
Sgreed to pay 3,000f. as an indemnity to the English 
prisoners, and to place the ship and its crew at the disposal 

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3i6 LETTER BY THE PRINCE. 1858 

of the English Government, by whom they were soon after- 
wards restored to the Sardinian authorities. 

This and the other questions to which we have alluded 
were still in suspense, when the Prince wrote the following 
letter to his political confessor at Coburg : — 

4 The Duke of Malakoff has been presented on his appoint- 
ment, and has dined with us. He is very much shorter and 
less stout, as well as younger, than he has been depicted. 
He speaks with the greatest frankness about the state of 
France, and the measures of his master, of which he entirely 
disapproves, — is unhappy at having to go into society, which 
he detests, but flattered at being ambassador, and so well 
received in England. As a diplomatist he will be difficult 
to manage, because he is ignorant of all the details of 
business, but his influence as a man may be useful. 

'Our jury has now acquitted Simon Bernard, after the 
clearest evidence of his guilt, and the Emperor can regard 
this as nothing else than what it really is, the determination 
of the English people to protect and shield his enemies from 
his oppression. I fear, he is at this moment meditating some 
Italian development, which is to serve as a lightning con- 
ductor, and ever since Orsinfs letter he has been all for 
Italian independence ; only the Pope and the compact with 
the Church, which is useful to him at home, stand in his way. 8 
A conflict between Sardinia and Naples might, however, look 
as though he had nothing to do with it, even though it 
should set all Italy in a blaze. The materials for the con- 



1 The Emperor of the French had long lost all patience with the Pope 
for his obstinate refusal to reform his government, and regretted deeply the 
presence of French troops in Borne, which he would hare been very glad to 
remove could he have seen the way to do so. This desire could scarcely fail 
to be strengthened by the revelations brought to light by the Orsini plot of 
the intensity of anger caused among Italian Liberals by the continued presence 
of these troops in Borne. 



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1858 LETTER BY THE PRINCE. 217 

flagration are ready in abundance, and would even suffice to 
spread the flames as far as Germany. 

4 Yesterday the Budget was introduced into the Lower 
House. There will be no end of trouble yet with the India 
Bill. The Ministers obviously came to a private under- 
standing with Lord John, when they decided to fall back 
from their own Bill upon a set of Resolutions, and the object 
of the manoeuvre possibly was merely to take the reins out 
of Lord Palmerston's hands. 

' The Radicals still entertain a bitter hatred towards Lord 
Palmerston. Meanwhile a weak Government leads, as it 
always does, to a further weakening of the power of Govern- 
ment, which again redounds solely to the advantage of the 
press. 

' My plans for being at Coburg about the 27th of May 
continue to assume consistency, and the pleasure of seeing 
you again and of having some talk with you will be a great 
one for me, should fortune continue to favour my project. 

• Buckingham Palace, 20th April, 1858/ 

It is pleasant to turn from all this turmoil of political 
complication and strife to one of the Prince's delightful 
letters to his daughter at Berlin. Here is one, full of his 
own high purpose, and calm practical wisdom : — 

' Buckingham Palace, 28th April, 1858. 

«. . . What you are now living through, observing, and 
doing, are the most important experiences, impressions and 
acts of your life, for they are the first of a life independent and 
responsible to itself. That outside of and in close proximity 
to your true and tranquillising happiness with dear Fritz your 
path of life is not wholly smooth, I regard as a most fortunate 
circumstance for you, inasmuch as it forces you to exercise and 
to strengthen the powers of your mind. Only keep a con- 



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218 LETTER BY THE PRINCE. 1858 

stant guard upon yourself and be not seduced by familiarity 
into approval of that which, while it was unfamiliar, the 
reason could not recognise as either good or fitting (zweck- 
md88ig). This it is which makes the difference between a 
feeble soul and a strong one, that while the former suffers 
itself to be the slave of circumstances, the latter accommo- 
dates itself to them upon rational grounds and keeps its 
judgment unfettered. 

* I am delighted to . see by your letter of the 24th, that 
you deliberate gravely upon your budget, and I will be most 
happy to look through it, if you send it to me ; this is the 
only way to have a clear idea to one's self of what one has, 
spends, and ought to spend. As this is a business of which I 
have had long and frequent experience, I will give you one 
rule for your guidance in it, viz. to set apart a considerable 
balance pour Vimpr&vu. This gentleman is the costliest of 
guests in life, and we shall look very blank if we have no- 
thing to set before him- Therefore keep a large margin 
upon which you can draw for all that cannot be calculated* 
beforehand, and reduce all the expenses capable of previous 
estimate courageously so low as to obtain for yourself a con~ 
siderable margin. Fate, accident, time, and the world care 
very little for " a previous estimate," but ask for their due 
with rude impetuosity. Later retrenchments to meet them 
do not answer, because the demands of ordinary life have 
shaped themselves a good deal according to the estimates, 
and have thus acquired a legitimate power. 

' . . . We have only rarely bought any of the works of the 
English water-colour school for ourselves, but we have made 
gifts to each other of the pictures. The pleasure these give 
us becomes in this way a twofold pleasure.' 

The Prince was now able to see his way tolerably clearly to 
an early meeting with his daughter. His delight at the 

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r858 THE QUEEN OF PORTUGAL. 219 

prospect breaks out in the following letter to Baron Stockmar 
a few days afterwards (7th May) : — 

6 May is somewhat advanced, and hitherto I see no reason 
why I may not carry out my plan of being at Coburg towards 
the end of the month. What pleasure it will be to me to 
see you again and, I hope, in improved health ! I trust you 
also feel some pleasure at the prospect. 

' Yesterday the young Queen of Portugal arrived here 
with her father and brother. Her mother felt herself so 
much upset at Ostend by the strain upon her emotions, that 
6he had to return to Diisseldorf, instead of coming on here 
with her daughter. We are greatly pleased with the young 
Queen ; she is most amiable, unassuming, and genial, and 
goodness of heart is written upon her face. She proceeds on 
Tuesday to Portugal. 

'We have nothing but good news from Vicky. The 
sprain of her foot, which alarmed us greatly at first, is 
declared by the doctor to be of no moment, and will not mar 
our rendezvous. I enclose a copy of a portion of the 
Princess of Prussia's last letter, which will delight you as 
much as it has me. Prince Hohenzollern, moreover, confirms 
all she says, only with heightened colours. 

4 Bertie is at Richmond for the sake of study. His 67i- 
tourage and the system pursued are complete.' 

The Prince and Queen were both deeply impressed with 
the young Queen of Portugal. His entry in his Diary the 
day of her arrival at the Palace is : ' Sie ist eine gar liebliche 
Erschemung 4 — gut und emfach. — She is a vision of 
rare loveliness, good and simple.' On the day she left 
England, the Queen, too, writes of her to King Leopold : ' I 

4 This phrase has no exact correlative in English. Wordsworth's ' lovely 
apparition sent, To be a moment's ornament/ comes near it, but it does not 
express the spiritual, angel-like beauty, that is suggested by the German 
words. 



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220 THE QUEEN OF PORTUGAL. 1858 

see by your kind letter how much struck you were, as we 
have been, by the inexpressibly dear and pure and good ex- 
pression of her fine eyes. Their look says more than words 
can. . . . People here were delighted with her; but who 
would not like and love the dear gentle child ? ' 

The winning charm of the young Queen's look seems to 
have been of the kind which one loves yet almost dreads to 

see: — 

* the light 
In the dark eyes, prophetic of the doom 
Heaven gives its favourites — early death.' 

But no such thought of one so young, so beautiful, so 
seemingly full of life, was present to her Royal hosts, although, 
in the letter just quoted, the Queen confesses to a feeling of 
melancholy at parting from her. Of the image which she 
left in the Prince's mind, an exquisite picture is presented 
in the following pasbage from a letter (12th May) to his 
daughter at Berlin : — 

4 Dear Stephanie parted from us yesterday at 10 o'clock, 
and has left a most pleasing impression in all our hearts. 
She is so good, simple, and unassuming, and has an expression 
in her eyes which I do not remember to have seen in those of 
any one else — a kind of wistfulness and trustful entreaty, to 
which one would fain tender every knightly service and pro- 
tection. She will be sure to please Pedro. She attached 
herself to us with childlike devotion. Yesterday evening at 
six she embarked at Plymouth, where she will have to go 
through the pain of parting from her father, who is to return 
to us to-morrow. It will be a very distressing moment for 
her. We too know from experience and can comprehend the 
pangs it will cost her.' 



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221 



CHAPTEE LXXXV. 

The month of April had brought tidings of great successes in 
India. Chief of these was the fall of Lucknow, which, after 
having held out for nine months against us in the hands of 
the rebels, was at last reconquered. After many days of 
hard fighting, Sir Colin Campbell had secured complete 
possession of the city. The rebels by whom it had been 
occupied were scattered in hopeless confusion, and it seemed 
as if the most formidable remnant of organised military 
opposition to our rule in India had now been effectually 
broken. The words of Lord Derby's letter (3rd May) to Sir 
Colin Campbell, announcing Her Majesty's intention to raise 
him to the dignity of a Peer of the United Kingdom, in 
recognition of his ' eminent and brilliant services,' expressed 
the general feeling of the country : — 

1 Sanguine as were the hopes which Her Majesty had enter- 
tained of the results which might be expected from your 
appointment (as Commander-in-Cbief of the armies in India), 
yon have more than realised them all ; and the judicious manner 
in which you have formed your plans of operation ; the steadiness, 
patience, and perseverance with which you have carried them out ; 
the care yon have at all times taken not unnecessarily to throw 
away the lives of your troops, not less than the energy and vigour 
with which, at the right time, you have known how to strike the 
decisive blow, and the determination with which it has been 
struck, have merited, and have received, Her Majesty's most 
cordial approval.' 

In anticipation of the fall of Lucknow, Lord Canning had 

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222 LORD CANNINGS PROCLAMATION 1858 

prepared a Proclamation, to be published forthwith through- 
out the Province of Oude, in which he declared the pro- 
prietary right in the soil of the province to be confiscated, 
with the exception of the lands of a few Rajahs and others, 
who had been steadfast in their allegiance to British 
authority. In the same Proclamation, however, he had held 
out a promise of a restitution of their former rights to the 
chiefs and landholders who should come forward promptly 
and give assistance in the restoration of peace and order 
throughout the province, assuring them that, if they did so, 
the G-overnor-General would be ready to view their claims 
liberally. By the mail which carried the official Despatch to 
England that accompanied this Proclamation, Lord Canning 
wrote an unofficial letter to Mr. Vernon Smith, in which he 
mentioned that he had wished to accompany it with an 
explanation of his reasons for adopting what seemed the 
severe course of so sweeping a confiscation, but that it was 
impossible to find leisure to do so in time for the mail. 

By the time this letter and the Despatch reached England 
(12th April) Mr. Vernon Smith had given place as President of 
the Board of Control to Lord Eilenborough, and he did not 
communicate the unofficial letter to his successor. Lord Ellen- 
borough, therefore, was not put upon his guard, as he might 
otherwise have been. If. he had seen the private letter to 
Mr. Vernon Smith, he might have thought it only fair, before 
deciding on the policy announced in the Proclamation, to wait 
for the explanation which Lord Canning had desired to give. 
Still, even without such warning, it was the barest justice to 
one who had hitherto proved himself so fit to cope with the 
immense responsibilities of his position to have assumed that 
the measure had not been adopted without substantial, pos- 
sibly conclusive, reasons, however harsh it might appear upon 
the face of the Proclamation to be. In any case, if the 
Government at home thought the measure unwise, the 

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1858 LORD ELLENBOROUGH' S DESPATCH. 223 

courtesies of official life, not to say the rules under which 
government of a distant possession is alone possible, required 
that any remonstrance which they thought it their duty to 
make should be addressed to the Governor-General himself, 
and should not be made public. No measure short of one 
which demanded his immediate recall could have justified a 
departure from this rule. 

No sooner, however, did the draft of the Proclamation 
reach Lord Ellenborough than he penned what was called a 
4 Secret Despatch,' in which the man who, for his forbearance 
and justice to the natives of India, had been ridiculed by his 
opponents as ' Clemency Canning, 9 was condemned in language 
of studied bitterness for having abandoned the 'generous 
policy by which other conquerors who had succeeded in 
overcoming resistance had extended their policy to the great 
body of the people, and had struck at the mass of the in- 
habitants of the country with what they would feel as the 
severest of punishments.' The letter of Lord Canning 
quoted in a previous chapter (supra, p. 181) has shown how 
little likely he was to lay himself open to such a charge ; but 
indeed all the acts of his administration ought to have made 
the writer of this invective pause in the moulding of his 
pungent periods. Not content, moreover, with his censure 
of Lord Canning, Lord Ellenborough went out of his way in 
the same Despatch to throw doubt upon the English title to 
the supremacy of Oude, the opportunity of discrediting Lord 
Dalhousie's policy of annexation having apparently been 
irresistible, even at a moment when we had only just re- 
asserted our hold upon the province at a terrible sacrifice of 
blood and treasure. 

To have penned such a despatch said little for the writer's 
discretion ; but what could be thought of the headstrong 
rashness of giving it publicity in England three weeks before 
it could possibly reach the hands of Lord Canning ? Even 

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224 LORD ELLENBOROUGWS 185S 

before its existence was made known to the Queen, copies 
had been placed in the hands of several persons, Mr. Bright 
among the nurnber. This had led that gentleman to ask a 
question on the subject in the House of Commons. The 
question had been anticipated, and the Under-Secretary of 
State for India had been authorised by Lord Ellenborough to 
promise in reply, that the Despatch itself should be laid on 
the table of the House. The same night Mr. Disraeli an- 
nounced that the Government disapproved the policy of the 
Proclamation 4 in every sense,' — an announcement which, as 
mentioned by Lord Canning himself (17th June), in a subse- 
quent Despatch, devoted to what was admitted to be a trium- 
phant vindication of his policy, was instantly ' carried by the 
telegraph over the length and breadth of India. 9 

When these facts came to the knowledge of the Queen, 
Her Majesty felt deeply the unfairness and irregularity of 
the whole proceeding, and the danger likely to ensue from the 
diffusion of the document throughout India. Meanwhile 
the sensation created in the political world by the wilful 
act of Lord Ellenborough, adopted without even consulting 
his colleagues, very quickly brought home to Lord Derby 
the consciousness that a fatal mistake had been com- 
mitted. On the 9th of May the Queen wrote to him that, 
while she was anxious not to add to Lord Derby's difficulties, 
she must not leave unnoticed the fact that the Despatch in 
question ought never to have been sent without having been 
submitted to the Sovereign. ' She hopes,' Her Majesty added, 
'that Lord Derby will take care that Lord Ellenborough 
shall not repeat this, which must place her in a most embar- 
rassing position.' 

But Lord Ellenborough had already fallen into the same 
irregularity by sending out another Despatch (dated 5th May) 
to the Governor-General, prescribing the line of policy to 
be adopted for the pacification of Oude. Of the very exis- 

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i8sS SECRET DESPATCH. 22$ 

tence of this document Lord Derby was unaware till the 
12th, two days after it had left Eng*and. It was equally 
unknown to his colleagues ; and in sending a copy of it to the 
Queen on the 13th, Lord Derby mentioned this fact, and 
spoke of it as ' another instance of the principle on which 
Lord Ellenborough acted, and which was sure to cause 
embarrassment*' Fortunately this Despatch was as unexcep- 
tionable in its character as the. previous one had been the 
reverse, and only laid down principles which Lord Canning 
had over and over again declared to be those by which his 
whole policy was guided. 

So much was this the case that, in replying to Lord 
Derby, Her Majesty writes : * The Despatch now before me 
for the first time is very good and just in principle, but the 
Queen would be much surprised if it did not entirely coin- 
cide with the views of Lord Canning, at least as far as he 
has hitherto expressed any in his letters. So are also the 
sentiments written by Sir J. Lawrence ' [in a private letter 
which Lord Derby had sent for Her Majesty's perusal], ' in 
almost the very expressions frequently used by Lord Canning. 
Sir J. Logie, who holds the same opinion and has great 
experience, does not find any fault with the Proclamation, 
however seemingly it may sound at variance with these 
opinions, and he rests this opinion on the peculiar position of 
affairs in Oude. 

* It is a great pity,' Her Majesty continues, « that Lord 
Ellenborough, with his knowledge, experience, energy, and 
ability, should be so entirely unable to submit to general 
rules of conduct. The Queen has been for some time alarmed 
at his writing letters of his own to all the most important 
Indian chiefs and kings, explaining his policy. All this 
renders the position of a Governor-General almost untenable, 
and that of the Government at home very hazardous. 9 

The soundness of this view had already been brought 

VOL. IV. Q 

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226 LORD ELLENBO ROUGH'S 1858 

painfully home to Lord Derby and his Cabinet. A strong 
feeling that Lord Canning had been most unfairly dealt 
with had sprung up immediately on the Secret Despatch 
being made public; and it was also felt that the task of 
restoring peace in Oude had been enormously increased by 
the language in which our annexation of that province had 
been spoken of. The Ministry were inculpated in the general 
opinion along with Lord Ellenborough, and it was known by 
the 9th that Lord Palmerston and his friends intended to 
move a Resolution upon the subject of the incidents con- 
nected with the Despatch, with a view of forcing the Govern- 
ment to resign. Notice of the motion was given the next 
day by Mr. Cardwell, in terms which, if carried, must lead 
to the resignation of the Ministry, or to a dissolution of 
Parliament. Notice of a motion to the same effect, but in 
different terms, was also given in the House of Lords by the 
Earl of Shaftesbury. 

In these circumstances Lord Ellenborough, taking upon 
himself the sole responsibility for the publication of the 
Despatch, tendered his resignation by letter to the Queen 
upon the 10th of May, and then informed Lord Derby that 
he had done so. Next day Lord Derby saw Her Majesty. 
He had told Lord Ellenborough, he said, that, if consulted by 
Her Majesty, he should advise her to accept the resignation. 
Lord Ellenborough had expressed his belief that he had 
brought evil luck to the Government, as this was the second 
difficulty into which he had led them, the first having been 
the election clause in the India Bill. This was true ; never- 
theless he had acted, Lord Derby considered, most hand- 
somely in tendering his resignation, which Lord Derby hoped 
would lead to the withdrawal of the vote of censure in the 
House of Commons, as he thought the House could scarcely 
hold the Cabinet responsible, and punish it for an act with 
which they had no concern. This hope the Queen and Prince 

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1858 SECRET DESPATCH. 227 

were unable to share, as it was difficult to disconnect the 
act of the individual from the general action of the Cabinet, 
and because the responsibility would be taken to rest with 
the Government as a body for whatever mischief might 
ensue from the publication of a Despatch, which had been 
admitted by Mr. Disraeli, in the House of Commons, to be 
sanctioned by their approval. As the Queen wrote to Lord 
Derby next day : ' The fact of the Governor-General having 
* been publicly reprimanded, and his policy condemned, remains 
the same, although the Government have done what they could 
to mitigate the consequences of what could not be undone. 9 

On the same evening (10th May) on which Lord Shaftes- 
bury gave notice of his motion, Lord Ellenborough, from his 
place in the House of Lords, took upon himself the whole 
responsibility of having given publicity to the Despatch. He 
added : — 

' I might very properly, no doubt, have taken the letter to the 
Cabinet, and in the Cabinet have asked the opinions of my col* 
leagues before deciding to make it public. That might have been 
the right course, but that course I did not adopt ; and therefore 
to accuse my colleagues of any misconduct with respect to the 
publication of that letter is to raise a constitutional fiction. 
I am responsible, and let me alone bear whatever censure may 
be attributed to the act of publication.' 

In Parliament, he went on to say, the question which had 
been raised would be between one party and another, Was 
the Government to continue or to go out ? In India, how- 
ever, the question would be understood to be the conflicting 
principles of confiscation and clemency. On the issue of the 
discussion might depend the hope of permanent reconciliation 
and peace. Resolved, therefore, to free it from all personal 
considerations, he had tendered his resignation, and it had 
been accepted. 

This frank avowal did not, however, avert the danger 

q2 



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228 DEBATE ON LORD ELLENBOROUGWS 1858 

which now threatened the Ministry. The Opposition had 
closed their ranks for the moment, and were confident of carry- 
ing their motion in the House of Commons with a triumphant 
majority. The discussion began in both Houses of Parlia- 
ment on the same evening. The Lords disposed of it at one 
sitting, the result being a majority of only nine in favour of 
the Government. In the other House the debate was pro- 
tracted through several nights, and all the leading speakers 
on both sides took part in it. The disinclination on the 
part of some of those now in office to include Lord Canning's 
name in the vote of thanks at the beginning of the Session 
was skilfully made use of by their opponents as indicating a 
readiness to discredit his policy, in which the true reason 
might be found for the publication of the Secret Despatch. 
On the other side, Mr. Bright, Sir James Graham, Mr. Boe- 
buck, and others denounced the action of Mr. Cardwell and 
his friends as a merely party move to effect the restoration of 
Lord Palmerston and his supporters to office ; and the per- 
sonal incident of Mr. Vernon Smith having omitted to hand 
over to his successor Lord Canning's letter expressing his 
regret at being unable to accompany the draft Proclamation 
with an € explanation,* was brought forward and dwelt upon 
with damaging effect. 

A speech by Lord John Russell, in his best manner, lifted 
the discussion to a level above the rhetoric of party strife. 
After pointing out that the Proclamation, qualified as it was 
by the offers of restitution upon submission, did not deserve 
the character ascribed to it by Lord Ellenborough, he spoke 
of Lord Canning as a statesman of experience might be ex- 
pected to speak of a public servant to whom a great public 
wrong had been done : — 

' Lord Canning,' he said, * had been for nearly a year exposed 
in one of the most perilous situations, requiring the highest 
qualities of heart and head which a man in a high position can 

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1858 SECRET DESPATCH. 229 

need. He had to provide for the safety of a British garrison, 
small in numbers, which had been diminished by reinforcements 
and armaments sent away to other parts, with only one European 
regiment, I believe, in a space of 400 miles from Calcutta. He 
was exposed to this extensive and perilous mutiny. He had at 
the same time to consider the welfare of those hundred and fifty 
millions in India over whom he had to rule, and, placed in that 
position, no man can say that, while others trembled, his cheeks 
were ever blanched with fear — that, while the murders committed 
roused to frenzy the passions of the Europeans about him, his 
blood was ever moved to vengeance. 

'What,' he continued, 'was the duty of any Government on 
receiving the Proclamation which had been so summarily con- 
demned but to say, — " This is a man distinguished for his 
humanity. This is a Governor-General placed in a most perilous 
position. If we cast upon him a sudden censure, we may disable 
him from performing the duties of his office. There is no 
character of fierceness and cruelty about him, which should 
induce us to withhold our confidence, or to believe that he has 
surrendered his humane and rational intentions with regard to 
the people of Oude." If that had been their belief, they might 
have written a Despatch conveying their general views concern- 
ing confiscation, asking for explanations, and recommending in 
general terms a policy of mercy. If such a Despatch had been 
written, if, as is usual with Despatches when great affairs are 
being transacted, it had been refused to those who wished it pro- 
duced, I think it would have been but fair and common justice to 
Lord Canning, and not only fair and common justice to Lord 
Canning, but justice to your own Empire.' 

Not less forcible and sound were the terms in which Lord 
John Kussell spoke of those parts of the Secret Despatch* 
which threw discredit on our right to put down as rebellion, 
the rising of the native chiefs of Oude: — 

* Hitherto it has always been the practice for a Government, on 
coming into office, to accept the settlements which have been made 
by former Governments, and when a conquest has been made,, 
a war entered into, or an acquisition secured to the Crown, .not to- 
look any further into the abstract merits of the question, but to 



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230 DESPATCH BY LORD CANNING. 1858 

adopt that which lias been done to cany on the war, and to 
defend those acquisitions. In this manner alone can the policy 
of the Empire be carried on with safety. ... If yon were to be 
perpetually entering into discussions with regard to the justice 
and wisdom of wars gone by, you could have no stable policy. 
That is the way in which the government of this great Empire 
has hitherto been carried on, that is the way in which, despite of 
our party battles — spite of gentlemen sitting first on one side and 
then on another, — this great Empire has been built up, and it is 
the only way in which it can be maintained. If you are to say, as 
this Despatch says, or rather insinuates, which is a great deal 
worse, that the annexation of Oude was unrighteous and unprin- 
cipled, and done in defiance of treaties, and that therefore the 
hostilities going on in Oude were legitimate warfare, and that 
not Her Majesty's troops, but the rebels and mutineers, were the 
real defenders of the right, do not think that your Empire can 
last.' 

Next day (16th May) Lord Derby waited on the Queen 
with letters to Lord Ellenborough from Lord Canning, which 
had just been received, from which it was evident that Lord 
Canning thought he was actually taking a most merciful 
course, and was full of hope that when the terms of the 
Proclamation became known to the chiefs of the province, 
they would accept them, and the work of pacification would 
go rapidly on. Events proved that he was right. In a 
Memorandum in the Prince's autograph of what passed at 
this interview, it is remarked : 4 Lord Ellenborough's, and 
indeed the Government's, hearts must have had curious 
sensations in reading Lord Canning's frank declaration, that 
he did not mean to resign on hearing of the formation of the 
Tory Government unless told to do so, and that he had no 
fears he would find Indian affairs dealt with by the Govern- 
ment at home in a way implying want of confidence in his 
administration, because he felt sure that against this he was 
safe in their hands.' 

Meanwhile, as the debate proceeded, further papers were 

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1858 CONTINUED DEBATE. 231 

received ; among others a letter from the Governor-General 
to Sir James Outram, as Chief Commissioner in Oude, in 
which he combated and refuted the objections raised by Sir 
James Outram to the Proclamation, This document showed 
conclusively that Lord Canning had not acted either hastily 
or with undue severity, and that the case was one of extreme 
delicacy and difficulty. In returning these papers to Lord 
Derby (21st May) Her Majesty wrote : 'Lord Ellenborough 
must be taken to have acted hastily in at once condemning 
Lord Canning, and unfairly to him in doing this on private 
information, without hearing the Governor-General on the 
other side. It is always dangerous to keep up a private 
correspondence with inferior officers, allowing them to 
criticise their superiors, but it is subversive of all good 
government to act at once on the opinion given by inferiors.' 
Powerful speeches by Sir James Graham, Mr. Bright, and 
others against Mr. Cardwell's motion had shown that the 
Opposition were far from unanimous in their views, and 
when the debate was adjourned to the 21st it was rumoured 
that Mr. Gladstone would speak on the same side on what 
was understood to be the last night of the discussion. Other 
defections from the Liberal ranks were broadly hinted at. 
In fact, a feeling had become general, that while the fault of 
the Ministry had been sufficiently expiated by Lord Ellen- 
borough's resignation, the character and policy of Lord 
Canning had been satisfactorily vindicated by the debate. 
Thus, what had seemed to Mr. Cardwell and his friends a 
certainty of success when the debate began was becoming 
more and more likely to result in a defeat. When the House 
met, no fewer than six hundred members were present, and 
the greatest excitement prevailed, but it soon became 
obvious that the debate would collapse. Member after 
member rose upon the Opposition side to entreat Mr. Card- 
well to withdraw his motion. At first he declined to do so, 

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232 DEFEAT OF OPPOSITION. 1858 

but the pressure was continued; Mr. Cardwell then took 
counsel with Lord John Russell and Lord Palmerston. The 
result of their deliberations was, that Lord Palmerston rose 
and announced the withdrawal of the motion, amid general 
acclamation. Thus what had threatened to prove a disaster 
to the Government resulted in a practical victory, more 
advantageous to them than even a division in their favour 
would have been, revealing as it did something very like 
anarchy in the ranks of their opponents. 1 

The Government were now free to prosecute the Resolu- 
tions on which their new India Bill was intended to be based. 
The most important of these having been carried by large 
majorities, the rest were withdrawn, and on the 17th of June 
the Bill was introduced. On perusing it the Queen wrote 
(20th May) to Lord Stanley, who had succeeded Lord Ellen- 
borough as President of the Board of Control, that it struck 
her ' as a great improvement on the former ones,' and that 
she was € consequently not sorry for the delay and discussion 
which have led to a more matured measure.' A few days 
afterwards Mr. Disraeli wrote to Her Majesty that such 
satisfactory progress had been made with the Bill in the 
House of Commons that it might be regarded as safe ; and 
he added : — 

1 In a speech at a Conservative banquet at Slough a few nights afterwards 
(26th May), for which Mr. Disraeli was subsequently attacked in both Houses 
of Parliament, he gave the following humorous description of the collapse of 
Mr. Card well's motion : * We were all assembled ; our benches, with their 
serried ranks, seemed to rival those of our proud opponents, when suddenly 
there arose a wail of distress — but not from us ; I can only liken the scene to 
the mutiny of the Bengal army. Regiment after regiment, corps after corps, 
general after general—all acknowledged that they could not march through 
Coventry. It was like a convulsion of nature rather than any ordinary trans- 
action of human life. I can only liken it to one of those earthquakes which 
take place in Calcutta or Peru ; there was a rumbling murmur, a groan, a 
shriek, a sound of distant thunder. No one knew whether it came from the 
top or bottom of the House. There was a rent, a fissure in the ground ; and 
then a village disappeared ; then a tall tower toppled down ; and the whole of 
the Opposition benches became one great dissolving view of anarchy.* 



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1858 THE NEW INDIA BILL. 233 

' It is, the Chancellor of the Exchequer really thinks, a wise 
and well-digested measure, ripe with the experience of the last five 
months of discussion ; but it is only the ante-chamber of an 
imperial palace, and your Majesty would do well to deign to 
consider the steps which are now necessary to influence the 
opinions, and affect the imaginations of the Indian populations. 
The name of your Majesty ought to be impressed upon their 
native life.' 

Before the Bill became law, however, its provisions under- 
went much discussion in both Houses, As with most measures 
subjected to considerable alteration during their progress, 
clauses were admitted in the House of Commons, which, on 
further consideration, the Ministry found to be objectionable. 3 
Their defects were cured by the House of Lords, but some im- 
portant amendments made there, upon the suggestion of Lord 
Derby, were strenuously resisted in the House of Commons, 
although ultimately carried after a division by a large majority. 
It was therefore the 2nd of August before this measure, so im- 
portant to what was thenceforth an integral part of the British 
Empire, became law. 

While the discussions on Mr. CardwelTs motion were still 
proceeding, and the result still doubtful, a fresh catastrophe 
occurred in the family of Louis-Philippe. On the 18th of 
May the Duchess of Orleans died suddenly at Cranbourne 

1 Ooe of these was a clause proposed by Mr. Gladstone, which in its original 
form would have deprived the Crown of the power to use the Indian forces in 
war, ' except for repelling actual invasion of Her Majesty's Indian possessions, 
or under other sodden and urgent necessity, without the consent of Parliament/ 
thus depriving the Grown of one of its undoubted prerogatives. The objection 
to the clause on this ground was, curiously enough, strongly urged by several 
speakers among the advanced Liberals, bat without effect. On having his 
attention called to it by the Queen, Lord Derby felt the gravity of the over- 
sight, and the clause (the 56th of the India Bill, 21 & 22 Vict. cap. 106) was 
amended by providing that, except for the purposes above mentioned, the 
revenues of India should not be applied without the consent of Parliament to 
defray the expense of military operations beyond the external frontier of our 
Indian possessions. By this the prerogative of the Crown and the control of 
Parliament were both saved. 



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234 SUDDEN DEATH 1858 

House, Richmond, and the Prince hurried down to the desolate 
home, where, his Diary records, 4 he found the whole family, 
with the exception of Queen Marie Amflie [who was at Clare- 
mont, and unwell], in a terrible state.' The same day the 
Queen wrote to King Leopold from Buckingham Palace : — 

' Alas, another calamity has befallen the unhappy Orleans 
family ! Dear excellent Hetene died suddenly this morning 
of the same illness [influenza] which at one moment threatened 
to carry off Robert, from which Gaston is just recovering, and 
the Queen still suffering. I tremble at the consequences of 
this new blow, coming upon her within seven months of our 
beloved Victoire's death. It is very, very awful. The mis- 
fortunes of that family are unparalleled ! The poor sons I 
What is to become of them at a moment when a mother is 
so important, and when a mother's roof is of such essential 
use to young men ? . . .* 

4 Albert has just returned from Richmond, where he found 
all the family around the lifeless body of dear Hel&ne — a sad 
repetition of November ! The poor sons are in a dreadful 
state of distress. I will go to-morrow to Twickenham to see 
the Aumales, and possibly the sons. 

4 We are living in a Ministerial crisis. We shall, however, 
go to Osborne on Thursday, as the debate will not be over 
till Friday, and I hope we shall not be called up here next 
week. I think the fear of a dissolution may give the 
Government a majority.' 

As we have seen, the Ministerial crisis here referred to 
passed away. The Whitsuntide recess had now come, and the 

* The Comte de Paris was then in his twentieth year, the Due de Chartret 
etiU under age, and towards him M. Trognon, in his admirable Life of that 
distinguished lady (p. 439), says, the Queen Marie Amelie assumed at onse 
the attitude of a mother. * Des son bas age,' he writes, ' elle s'etait fait un 
aimable jeu de l'appeler ton Chevalier, et ce titre arait inspire a l'enfant 
pour son aieule un senimentde filiate allegeance, dont elle comptait se pre- 
Taloir pour remplacer completement aupres de lui sa mere.' 

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1858 OF DUCHESS OF ORLEANS. 235 

Prince was therefore free to make his excursion to Coburg. 
But he was to be disappointed of meeting the Princess Eoyal 
and her husband there, for a bad sprain of one of her feet, 
and some consequent derangement in health, made it impos- 
sible for her to travel from Berlin. When this unwelcome 
news reached the Prince, he wrote to Baron Stockmar : — 

4 I have just heard that now Vicky will, in all probability, 
not be able to come to Coburg. Should this turn out to be 
the case, I shall be deprived of a great pleasure. As I start 
two evenings hence, and calculate on being at Coburg on the 
29th, I must, in that untoward case, try to adopt your original 
plan, and to cut down my stay in Coburg from five days to 
three, so as to have two to spare for Babelsberg, on which I 
must then make a sudden descent and take them by surprise. 
To do this with effect, however, no hint of my intention 
must reach them beforehand. 

4 To an early happy meeting ! 
' Osborne, 25th May, 1858.' 

4 P.S. — Doubtless you have been deeply grieved by the 
sudden death of the good Duchess of Orleans.' 

On the afternoon of the 27th the Prince started for 
Germany by way of Dover and Ostend, accompanied by his 
equerry, Colonel H. Ponsonby, and by his librarian, Dr. 
Becker. The incidents of his journey may be gathered in the 
following extracts translated from his letters to the Queen : — 

4 Two words to tell you that we are (half-past five p.m.) on 
the point of starting. 

4 Philippe [Count of Flinders] has just come on board. 
The first night, so far as trying to sleep went, was 44 a gigantic 
failure." The Vivid rolled terribly, owing to a heavy ground 
swell, and, after tumbling from the couch, mattress and all, 
I established myself upon the floor. Still, no one was ill, 

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236 LETTERS BY THE PRINCE 1858 

only very uncomfortable. I must be off. Say all that is 
kind to Mama and the children. 

1 Vivid: Ostend, 28th May, 1858/ 

' On board the Hermann : betwixt Kaub and Bingen, 
28th May, 1858. 10.30 p.m. 

* I am going to bed presently, but before doing so will 
wish you " Good-night I " You will have got my telegram 
all right, and the Princess [of Prussia] intended to telegraph 
when she got back to Coblenz. She accompanied me from 
Eemagen to Stolzenfels, looks well, and was full of talk the 
whole way. Prince Hohenzollern bade me good-by at 
Bemagen. The night is fine. The boat shakes so that I 
can scarcely write. Again, " Good- night," darling ! ' 

1 Cassel, opposite Mayence, 

29th May, 1858. 4 a.m. 

' I am just going to breakfast, and land in half an hour, so 
as to catch the express train to Frankfort. The sight of 
Mayence reminds me of 1828, when we visited Uncle Mens- 
dorff here, along with poor Grandmama of Coburg, then 
again in 1832, and finally with you. How much has changed 
since then ! Farewell ! Now we move on without stopping.' 

1 1 write to you, just before going to sleep, from the Palace 
of Coburg. I have this moment returned from the theatre, 
where Ernest's Santa Chiara was very well given, and there 
I struggled manfully to keep drowsiness at bay. Now my 
eyes, however, are greatly minded to close ! Ernest met me 
at Fiillbach. I found Alexandrine [Duchess of Coburg] and 
Ernest Wiirtemberg here, the latter looking very well, with 
a long beard and moustache. 

fc We had dinner at half-past three en petit comiti. This 
over, I walked with Ernest and Alexandrine in the Hofgarten, 
and from there to the Festung, which is now united with 



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1858 TO THE QUEEN. *& 

the garden in one park, laid out most successfully in a way 
that does Ernest the greatest credit. After we came down 
again, past the grand Catholic church, — which Augustus, the 
Pope, and all manner of bishops and pious souls are erecting 
upon the terrace of the Hofgarten, right in front of the 
Palace, — I went with Ernest to Stockmar, who had just 
come in from a long walk. He looked extremely well, 
talked briskly, and spoke with cheerfulness and vigour, 
which was a great pleasure to me. Then it was time to 
dress for the theatre. I had made good resolutions in my 
own mind against going, but these I found give way. Ah 
me ! On the whole, the impression on my mind is one of 
profound sadness! I have become an utter stranger here, 
and know scarcely any one, while those I used to know have 
aged so much that I find it hard to puzzle out the old faces 
again. . . . 

' 4 Young Stockmar is here, sent by Vicky with a letter to 
me, expressing her regrets in the most doleful tones ! When 
she wrote, she had not received my letter holding out the 
prospect of a visit to Babelsberg ; I have heard from her 
since in raptures. ... 
•Coburg, 29th May, 1858/ 

* You will have received my telegraphic despatch of this 
morning ; nevertheless I will continue my evening report. 
We went to the Palace, where a mediocre sermon and a fine 
full chanting of chorales, combined with the impressions of 
bygone days, constituted my devotions. A number of 
children were confirmed on the same spot where Ernest and 
myself pronounced our confession of faith. 4 After church 
Stockmar came to me, and remained for an hour and a half. 
. • . After this I went with Ernest and Alexandrine to the 
new burial-ground and the mausoleum, which is indeed very 

4 See vol. i. sujord, p. 10. 

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238 LETTERS BY THE PRINCE 1858 

beautiful and appropriate; then to the Museum, where I 
once more hailed with delight all the birds, butterflies, stones, 
and shells, and called to mind every circumstance connected 
with their acquisition ; thence to a magnificent new brewery, 
opposite the meadow in the direction of the new railway 
station, which haa been placed between the brewery and Ernest 
Wiirtemberg's garden, and so up to Ernest Wiirtemberg's. 
We did not find him at home, but we saw the familiar 
beautiful view. Thence to the new barracks, and so home. 
Here I received before dinner the deputation of the magis- 
tracy. The dinner was in the throne-room, and we went 
straight from it to the opera, La Sonnambula. 

4 1 got up with a headache and general malaise, and have 
kept these two uninvited guests with me till now. I have 
eaten nothing all the day, to rob my stomach of the shadow 
, of a pretext for behaving ill. I will now take " a draught " 
and go to bed, but not without first wishing you " Good- 
night I " There goes the watchman's horn, a proof that he 
still exists, of which we recently expressed our doubts at 
Osborne. Mention this to Mama. 
' Coburg, 30th May, 1858/ 

6 1 cannot let the day close without writing you a word. 
The telegram about Indian affairs has caused me much 
anxiety. Things are in anything but a good position, and 
Adrian Hope is a great loss; neither can I hear without 
regret of failures with 100 killed. 6 Pray let poor Lady Peel 

* The Prince here alludes to a repulse of a body of infantry in an advance 
which had been ordered (14th April), without first taking a proper reconnais- 
sance, by General Walpole, against a fort in the occupation of Nurput Singh, 
one of the Oude chiefs. In this ill-advised affair Brigadier the Hon. Adrian 
Hope, of the 93rd Highlanders, one of the ablest and most popular of the 
officers whom the campaigns in the Crimea and in India had brought into 
prominence, was killed. The heavy loes sustained in this incautious advance 
seemed the more lamentable when it was found next morning that the enemy 
had evacuated the fort over-night. 



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1858 TO THE QUEEN. 259 

know how deeply I take part in her loss. That he should fall 
a victim to the small-pox, that brave Sir William, was indeed 
too sad. . . •* 

' The Bosenau was truly lovely to-day, though it rained 
now and then, and the Festung has become a most interesting 
museum. I plucked flowers for you at the Bosenau, which, 
however, wait for the courier, who had not arrived up to 
eleven this evening. I must to bed. My fasting-core of 
yesterday has done me good, and I am all right again to-day. 

4 Coburg, 31st Hay, 1858/ 

4 At last I receive a few lines from you. The courier 
arrived before we started for the Kalenberg, where we spent 
the. day under scorching heat. I have just returned from the 
theatre, where we saw the Graf von Schweririj a piece by 
young Herr von Meyern (Ernest's secretary, whose brother 
is in India). It was very well acted, — a Ritter-Drama, 
full of political allusions to Denmark, Germany, and 
Holstein, which were received by the audience with great 
cheering. • • . 

4 The Kalenberg has become very beautiful; Ernest has 
almost entirely rebuilt it. We did not fail to visit, among 
other things, Arthur [MensdorfFs] " strange" tower. . . * 

* Captain Sir William Peel, K.C.B., was the third, and, it was said at the 
time, the favourite son of the late Sir Robert Peel. He died of small-pox on 
the 27th of April at Cawnpore, aged thirty-three. On the 30th of May the 
Queen wrote to Lord Derby : * The news from India are not cheering. The 
death of Sir William Peel, one of the brightest ornaments of the navy, has 
caused the Queen the deepest concern/ In a Gazette Extraordinary (30th) 
Lord Canning thus spoke of this distinguished man : ' The loss of his daring 
but thoughtful courage, joined with eminent abilities, is a very heavy one to the 
country ; but it is not more to be deplored than the loss of the influence which 
his earnest character, admirable temper, and gentle, kindly bearing exercised 
over all within his reach ; an influence which was exerted unceasingly for the 
public good, and of which the Governor-General believes that it may with 
truth be said there is not a man of any rank or profession who, having been 
associated with Sir William Peel in these times of anxiety and danger, has 
not felt and acknowledged it.' 



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240 LETTERS BY THE PRINCE 1858 

* Well, I have not thanked you as I ought for your dear 
words. I am glad you have gone to Alverhank 7 and enjoyed 
your visit. Tell Affie that he is much talked about here, and 
that the people have taken a great fancy to him. . . . 

' We are to be stirring by seven, so I must stop, for it is 
late. 

4 Thank Mama and the children for their letters, and 
give them some of the pansies which go to you in a tin case. 
They are from the terrace at the Rosenau under your windows, 
The cowslips I gathered at the Schweizerei. Make tea of 
them, in honour of me, and let Bertie have some. 

'Coburg, 1st June, 18.58/ 

* I will not let the day close without writing you a line. 
We left Coburg this morning about seven, in the midst of a 
violent storm, which had ceased by the time we reached the 
Rosenau, and drove up the Fischbacher Pass. By one we 
reached Oberhof. . . . After breakfasting there we drove to 
Reinhardsbrunn. The heat was insufferable. . . . Rein- 
hardsbrunn was wonderfully beautiful. Ernest has built 
much and well. The church has been freshly done up. We 
reached Friedrichsthal about half-past six. Mama (Dowager 
Duchess of Coburg) was very affectionate, but she has grown 
very old, and begins to resemble our late Grandmama. We 
dined with her a trow. 

4 Now I am going to bed tired. God bless you ! 

* Gotha, 2nd June, 1858/ 

4 ... I have just left the dinner-table. . . , The heat is 
frightful, still I am quite well. I must pack up and dress 
for my journey, as I have to go to the railway between eleven 
and twelve. 

' The cottage opposite to the Isle of Wight, where Prince Alfred was at this 
time pursuing his studies for the navy. 



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1858 TO THE QUEEN. 241 

' I shall be in Grossbeeren by six in the morning, where 
Fritz will meet me and take me to Babelsberg. In this way 
I avoid Berlin. 

' To-day has been spent in seeing sights in the town, all the 
collections in the Palace, &c. &c. 

4 The designs for the [Indian] medals are thoroughly 
destitute of brains and thought. Ponsonby writes my views 
on the subject to Phipps; I address the box, however, to 
you. 

i Gotha, 3rd June, 1858, 10 p.m. 

4 1 enclose a forget-me-not from Grandmama's grave.' 

' Babelsberg, 4th June, 1858. 

4 Your letters reached me to-day by the Berlin messenger. 
My hearty thanks for them ! Fritz met me this morning at 
Grossbeeren, and about nine I reached Babelsberg, where 
Vicky and the Prince received me. . . . The relation be- 
tween the young people is all that can be desired. ... I 
have had long talks with them both, singly and together, 
which gave me the greatest satisfaction. 

4 Fritz Karl paid me a visit before dinner (about two 
o'clock), and tall Albert (fils) after dinner. The King and 
the Queen, with the Prince and Princess, came about half- 
past seven. The King in uniform, with helmet and sword. 

4 5th June. — I got so far before going to sleep yesterday ; 
I will now resume. The King looks frightfully ill; he was 
very cordial and friendly, and for the half hour he stayed with 
us, did not once get confused, but complained greatly about 
his state of health. He is thin and fallen away over his 
whole body, with a large stomach, his face grown quite 
small. He made many attempts at joking in the old way, 
*but with a voice quite broken, and features full of pain. 
44 Werm ich wnmaXfort bin^wieder fort bm? he said, grasp- 
ing his forehead, and striking it, " then the Queen must pay 

VOL. iv. B 



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242 PRINCE RETURNS TO ENGLAND. 1858 

us a visit here, it will make me so happy." What he meant 
was, " Wenn ich wieder wohl bin" " It is so tedious," he 
murmured ; thus it is plainly to be seen, that he has not 
quite given up all thought of getting better. The Prince's 
whole aim is to be serviceable to his brother. He still walks 
very lame, but looks well. I kept quietly in the house all 
day with Vicky, who is very sensible and good, and in the 
evening drove with her and Fritz through Potsdam, Char- 
lottenhof, and Sans Souci, to pay a return visit to the King, 
who, however, had not come back from his drive. In the even- 
ing, about nine, we had tea upon the terrace, with curdled 
milk. The evening was glorious. We separated about ten. 
' I will now dress. Breakfast is about nine ; about ten I 
drive to town with Fritz to see his house, and back to 
dinner at two. I therefore stop. The messenger, who starts 
to-day, will take this letter with him. It will probably be 
the last, as, even if I write to-morrow, I shall arrive before my 
letter. I have fixed to take my leave to-morrow evening. 
Consequently by late on Monday night I shall probably be 
with you again. You may believe how heartily glad the 
thought of this makes me.' 

The Prince could not leave Babelsberg without sending a 
word to tell his friend Stockmar of the satisfaction at all 
that he had seen of the home of the young Princess, who was 
so dear to them both* He wrote (6th June) : — 

4 1 have been much gratified by my visit here; the 
harmony between the young couple is perfect. I am well, 
and resume my journey this evening, after an, alas ! too brief 
stay. The Prince I found cheerful, but the King is a sad 
spectacle, and physically much altered. During the half 
hour I was with him, he was not confused, but like a man 
just out of sleep.' 

The same evening the Prince left Potsdam, and halting 



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1858 ROYAL VISIT TO STONELEIGH ABBEY. 243 

at Dusseldorf, where he spent three hoars with the Prince of 
Hohenzollern, he reached London at nine o'clock on the 
morning of the 8th, and was met by the Queen on his 
arrival at the Bricklayers' Arms Station. ' Bleiben den Tag 
vber rvMgJ is the entry in his Diary. ' Have a quiet undis- 
turbed day.' He had not many such, each day bringing 
with it a multiplicity of claims on his attention, that left no 
portion of his long working hours unappropriated. 

The fatigues of the London season, with its drawing- 
rooms, levees, Boyal concerts and balls, were aggravated by 
the great heat for which this summer was remarkable. This 
heat the Queen and Prince had to encounter in all its fervour 
during a visit which they paid to Warwickshire, a few days 
after the Prince's return to England. A Boyal visit to Bir- 
mingham had been promised, and on this occasion the Sove- 
reign was to be the guest of the lord-lieutenant of the 
county, Lord Leigh, at Stoneleigh Abbey. 

Early in the afternoon of the 14th, the Queen and Prince 
left London by railway for Coventry, from which they drove, 
through enormous crowds collected on the roads, to the 
magnificent park of their host. After the overpowering heat 
of the railway journey, says Her Majesty's Diary, ' the air 
was delicious. The country so green, the trees so fine — 
magnificent old oaks, hundreds of years old ' — which studded 
the park, as the carriages drove up to the house. 'The 
terrace garden, with the river Avon flowing in front, and its 
splendid background of trees,' are noticed with delight. The 
Boyal guests were received on alighting by Lord and Lady 
Leigh (a daughter of the late Marquis of Westminster), by 
the Duchess of Sutherland, and a numerous assemblage of 
distinguished guests. 

No pains had been spared in the preparations for Her 
Majesty's reception at the Abbey, one of the finest of the 
' stately homes of England.' There was much to admire in 

B 2 

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244 AT ST0NELE1GH ABBEY. 1858 

all the internal arrangements of the house; but the Royal 
Diary dwells also with peculiar pleasure on * the view from 
the bed-room and dressing-room on the river, which was quite 
charming. The air came in so refreshing and cool, and was 
so /pleasant after London.' Among the guests at dinner that 
day, it is noted, were Miss Nightingale's friends, Mr. and 
Mrs. Bracebridge, l who were always with her in the Crimea, 
and at Constantinople, elderly, plain, most excellent worthy 
people.' In the evening the Abbey, the same record con- 
tinues, 4 or rather the old gateway, was beautifully illumi- 
nated. So also was the front entrance to the house, and the 
flower-beds and borders in the garden were also marked out 
with coloured lamps. We went out after eleven to look at 
the ► illuminations, and walked round a small garden, im- 
mensely cheered by large crowds who had assembled in 
the x Home Park,«lose up to the balustrade of the garden. 
Beautiful cool night, and yet not cold.' As the Queen walked 
up the steps to return to the house, a loud chorus of voices 
from the crowd broke into singing 4 God save the Queen.' 
The effect of this spontaneous tribute of loyalty at midnight 
in such a scene was most impressive. 

Next day (15th June), 'after half-an-hour's broiling in the 
railway,' again to quote Her Majesty's Diary, * we were 
soon after noon at Birmingham, which shone clear and 
bright, without a particle of smoke. It was as hot as Paris ; 
but Paris had not the dense and closely packed multitudes, 
and it had less heavy air. The arrangements were magni- 
ficent — the best I ever saw — the thousands all stationary, 
behind barriers, and the decorations most beautiful and full 
of taste. There were endless inscriptions of the most loyal 
kind, banners, flags, "guidons" wreaths of flowers across the 
streets in every direction, and so abundant as to have at 
every turning the most beautiful effect. There were Prus- 
sian flags, Vicky's and Fritz's initials, and a flag with Fritz 

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1858 ROYAL VISIT TO BIRMINGHAM, 24.5 

and Vicky on it, and underneath, "Long live the Prince and 
Princess of Prussia." Then, along the front of a house, was 
a scroll with "Victoria the People's Friend w in flowers 
wrought on cloth, and then " The Prince Consort, Long may 
he Live"— "The Queen, our Nation's Pride"—" God Bless 
our Queen! a Pattern to the World !"—" Victoria, the 
Queen of Peace ; " others for my beloved Albert, and one 
as follows : " God Bless Prince Frederick of Prussia's bright 
Star ! Health to the Blooming Rosebud afar I " Then there 
were inscriptions on flags, and on almost every house either 
our cypher or inscriptions. All was admirably done — hand- 
somer even than Manchester. The cheering was tremendous. 8 

* We went to the Town Hall, where the heat was fearful. 
Here we received on a throne two Addresses, one to Albert 
and one to myself, and I knighted the Mayor, — " God save 
the Queen " having been first sung to the fine organ. Then 
the procession continued through countless thousands to old 
Aston Hall and Park, now to be converted into a people's 
museum and park, and to obtain which the working people 
have worked very hard, and subscribed very largely. Here 
we were received by the managers, and taken upstairs to 
rooms prepared for us. Many fine old pictures had been 
lent, and Vicky's picture (a copy of Winterhalter's) had been 
placed in the recess of our retiring-room. The room where 
we lunched with our party — Sir C. Scott (a young Baronet 
who has had the management of the whole-proceedings, and 
has excellent taste), Sir H. Smith, and Mr.Bracebridge — was 
full of fine pictures, and beautiful things by Elkington 
ornamented the table. Luncheon over, we went into the 
Gallery, where we received Addresses (of course we read 
answers to them), and the managers were pi£sented,Jncluding 

• In his Diary the Prince say*: 'The enthusiasm in Birmingham went 
beyond all hounds, but so, too, did the heat (Der EntAlisiasmus in Birming- 
ham vbcntieg alls Grerum, so aber auch die Hitee).' 

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246 AT STONELEIGH ABBEY. 1858* 

the working men themselves, to six of whom I said a few 
words. We next stepped out on the balcony, from which 
the park was proclaimed open. Then we went downstairs, 
and through the Exhibition rooms, and walked once down 
and back along the terrace, the people cheering us very 
warmly. Dear Albert is so beloved here — as, indeed, every- 
where — having been here, I think, on three previous occa- 
sions for different purposes, and his love for the Arts and 
Sciences, and the moral improvement of the working and 
middle classes, and the general enlightenment of all, being 
so well known. A person called out in the crowd, " Quite a 
pattern lady ! " Another, " What a darling I " 

4 1 felt much oppressed with the heat by the time we left 
the hall. I had been here as a child in 1830, when it be- 
longed to a Mr. Watts, — also at Birmingham, and at Guy's 
Cliff. The day became fearfully oppressive. Leaving the 
railway we drove to Kenilworth Castle. Albert got out to 
see the beautiful ruins. I had seen them as a child, and, 
being very tired, returned to Stoneleigh at half-past five.' 

There was a large party to dinner, with many of Lord 
Leigh's county neighbours in the evening. The illumin- 
ations were repeated, and tempted by the stillness of the night 
the Queen again walked out, and was again greeted with the 
same enthusiasm by the crowds which thronged the park. 
6 At a little after eleven, 9 again to quote the Queen's Diary, * we 
retired, and found but little air in our rooms. We watched 
some people on the water, and the young ladies sang; and we 
listened to the band, and the distant hum of voices, and the 
people (the crowd) sang " God save the Queen " as they had 
done yesterday. It reminded us of a similarly hot night in 
July, at Cambridge, on the occasion of Albert's Installation in 
1847, when we took a walk with poor Waldemar of Prussia, 
Charles of Weimar, and the Duchess of Sutherland, after a 
fearfully hot dinner, and when it was so fine, and the 

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1858 RETURN TO LONDON. 247 

garden of the College, with the bridge over the river, looked 
so picturesque.' 9 

The next day the Eoyal visitors parted from their hosts, 
of whom Her Majesty in her Diary speaks in very glowing 
terms, and who had made ber reception worthy of the great 
county of which Lord Leigh was the representative. At one 
o'clock they started in an open carriage for Warwick Castle, 
escorted by Lord Leigh and the yeomanry of the county, 
whom he bad entertained as a guard of honour for Her 
Majesty during the visit at Stoneleigh. A day described as 
' fearfully stifling and oppressive,' must have put the mettle 
of this fine body of men to a severe test dining their long 
ride, through Leamington, to the Castle of the Warwicks, 
under which the Avon sweeps through a picturesque fringe 
of woodland worthy of the stately keep which it encircles. 
The heat penetrated even to the shady recesses of the Castle 
itself, where the Eoyal visitors lunched with Lord and Lady 
Warwick, and it hung heavily upon the glades overshadowed 
by the magnificent cedars and other forest giants of the Castle 
grounds. This was the only drawback upon an otherwise 
delightful excursion. But not even the stifling heat could 
abate the heartiness of the welcome given to the Queen and 
Prince at Leamington and Warwick. 'Everywhere,' says 
the Queen's Diary, ' we had the kindest reception.' 

Leaving Warwick Castle a little before five, the Eoyal party 
reached the Great Western Warwick Station as a thunder- 
storm began. * We had barely got into the railway carriage, 
before the rain came down with fearful violence. We soon 
got out of it, and the journey, though not cool, was not so 
bad as Monday's. We got to Buckingham Palace a little 
before eight. So hot, it had been 90° in the shade, and people 
half smothered.' 

9 A description of thif walk from the Queen'f Diary it given tupra, ?oL i. 
p. 89*. 



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248 



CHAPTER LXXXVI. 

While England was still contending with the two great 
problems, how peace was to be re-established in India, and 
the government of that country to be regulated for the 
future, fresh causes of uneasiness in the state of Europe were 
becoming daily more prominent. The French Government 
had been gradually recovering from the panic into which it 
had been thrown by the attempt of Orsini. Its eyes had 
become opened to the absurdity and injustice of punishing 
the French nation for the crime of an Italian, instigated by 
political motives with which that nation had no sympathy. 
To show, as the severity of the repressive measures at home 
had done, a distrust of his hold upon the goodwill of his 
subjects, was a mistake to which the Emperor could not 
remain long insensible. Accordingly, the Ministry of Public 
Safety, which he had created in his first alarm, was sup- 
pressed, and General Espinasse, in whom its functions had 
been combined with those of the Ministry of the Interior, 
was superseded. By a decree of the 14th of June, M. 
Delangle, whose legal training and well-known moderate 
views inspired general confidence, was appointed his suc- 
cessor, and the coercive policy, of which General Espinasse 
had been selected as the appropriate instrument, was for the 
time abandoned. 

Thus France again breathed more freely; but elsewhere 
the policy of its ruler caused general disquiet. It was 

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I858 COUNT CAVOUR. 249 

known that the words of the letter addressed to him by 
Orsini had taken deep root in his mind. ' Let your Majesty 
remember/ it said, ' that the Italians, of whom my father 
was one, shed with joy their blood for Napoleon the Great, 
and that they remained faithful to him to the last. Bear in 
mind that the tranquillity of Europe and of your Majesty 
will be a chimsera so long as Italy is not independent. Set 
my country free, and the blessings of fifty-five millions of 
men will follow you through succeeding generations.' The 
words chimed with the aspirations of a long-cherished 
dream, and pointed to the realisation of projects to which 
the Emperor had attached himself in his youth. They were 
enforced by the knowledge that what Orsini had failed in, 
many other Italians had banded themselves together to 
accomplish, being possessed with the idea that the blow 
which had been struck by the French Emperor at the revo- 
lutionary principles, on which they counted for success in 
setting Italy free, could only be expiated and neutralised by 
his death. 

There was one far-seeing statesman, the Count Gavour, 
then at the head of the Sardinian Government, who saw 
in this state of things a chance not to be lost of laying 
the foundations of an Italian kingdom. From no other 
Sovereign, as he well knew, could direct aid be expected in any 
measures for achieving the independence of Italy ; and this aid 
he set himself to secure at the moment when the apprehen- 
sions of the Emperor, no less than his ambition, disposed him 
to grant it. Accordingly, after the King of Sardinia had, by 
his spirited resistance to the pressure attempted to be put upon 
him by Count Walewski, brought the Emperor of the French 
to respect his independence, Count Cavour took every oppor- 
tunity of drawing closer the relations between the Court of 
Turin and that of the Tuileries. His efforts were completely 
successful, and they resulted in negotiations, which were 

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250 SECRET MEETING AT PLOMBlkRES. 1858 

conducted by the Emperor himself, 1 more 8UO, without the 
intervention of his Ministers, for an intimate alliance between 
France and Sardinia, to be cemented by the marriage of 
Prince Napoleon, the Emperor's cousin, with a daughter of 
King Victor Emmanuel. 

It was not till July of this year that these negotiations 
assumed a definite form. A meeting then took place at 
Plombi&res between the Emperor and the Count Cayour, of 
which the secret was so well kept that it escaped the obser- 
vation of the diplomatic world. At this meeting a mutual 
understanding was come to for the assistance of France, in 
certain eventualities, to Sardinia in a war against Austria, 
with a view to the establishment of a kingdom of Northern 
Italy ; Fiance receiving in return the cession from Sardinia of 
Savoy and Nice. The marriage of Prince Napoleon, although 
discussed at this interview, was left an open question. 

Although these details were not made public till some 
time after, enough was known of what was passing to draw 
the attention of European statesmen to the probability of a 
war in Italy at no distant date, in which France would be 
found to be enlisted on the side of Sardinia. The Emperor 
made no secret of bis animosity to Austria, and Austria in 
its turn was not indisposed to take up the gauntlet, if thrown 
down to her by France. She was quite aware that in any 
conflict she could count on no friendly aid from Russia, for 
the Emperor of the French had let it be known that his 
Imperial brother of Russia had said to him at Stuttgart 
that, so far as Italy was concerned, he might do what he 
pleased. In no case would he, the Emperor of Russia, 
interfere with him. But this menaee did not carry the same 

1 How Napoleon treated his own first Minister may be seen from an incident 
recorded by M. Mazade, in his account of the meeting at Plombieres. * It 
was going on/ he writes, * when Napoleon IIL, having received a despatch, 
turned to his guest with a smile, and said : v 'Tie from Walewski, to tell me 
yon are here." '— Le Comte de Cavour, par C. d* Mazade, p. 214. 



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1858 THE DANUBIAN PRINCIPALITIES. 251 

weight as, under other conditions, it might have done ; for 
Austria, who had been for many years strengthening her 
position and increasing her forces in the Italian peninsula, 
believed that she was quite able to cope with Powers like 
Russia and France, which were still suffering from the exhaus- 
tion occasioned by the Crimean War. If, therefore, she was 
to fight for her Italian provinces, — as it was obvious that, 
sooner or later, she must do, — the sooner the better. Sardinia 
had long been a thorn in her side, and the more fiery spirits 
of the Austrian army were eager to repeat to that ambitious 
State the sharp lesson which they had read to it in 1849. 

' The discussions as to the Danubian Principalities which 
had been resumed in Paris on the 22nd of May had shown 
France to be united in intimate concert with Russia and 
Sardinia, and in determined opposition to Austria and the 
Porte — a state of things which operated to increase in no 
small degree Austria's jealousy of the French Emperor. On 
the part of the latter there had long ceased to be any reserve 
as to his altered views in regard to Turkey, He believed 
the extinction of Ottoman sway in Europe to be not only 
desirable, but certain ; and he who had only two years before 
become a party to the treaty, by which France, Austria, and 
England guaranteed the integrity of Turkey, would not now 
have raised his hand to prevent its dismemberment. 

By what power that of the Ottoman Porte was to be 
succeeded he had apparently formed no definite views. That 
Russia should not be permitted to take its place was the one 
point alone clear to him, and there is no reason to doubt that 
he would have resisted any overt attempt in that direction. 
He was under no delusions as to the ulterior views by which 
that empire's Eastern policy had for generations been 
governed. That she would oppose the establishment of any 
independent power at Constantinople by all the resources at 
her command he could not doubt, for the admissions of th$ 

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252 DISCUSSION AS TO 1858 

Emperor Nicholas in his famous conversation with Sir 
Hamilton Seymour (see vol. iii. ante, p. 50) were present 
to his mind as a record of the hereditary policy of the Czars. 
In one important detail these admissions had been confirmed 
to himself personally ; for, as he told Lord Cowley, the Em- 
peror Alexander had assured the Prince Napoleon at Warsaw, 
that he ' would spend his last rouble, and sacrifice his last man * 
to defeat any attempt to set up a Greek Empire at Constanti- 
nople. 2 He might therefore reasonably conclude from this, 
that the rest of the hereditary programme would be as 
tenaciously adhered to. 

But in the meantime any direct encroachment by Russia 
upon Turkey was too remote to demand consideration, and 
the French Emperor turned a deaf ear to the representations 
of both Austria and the Porte, that his project of the union 
of the Principalities under a foreign prince involved a serious 
danger to the security of both their kingdoms against the 
usurping influence of the Czar. The temptation to 
punish the Porte, which had never been cordial in its rela- 
tions to himself, and to baffle Austria, which had rejected 
his proposals to annex the Principalities, was irresistible. 
Accordingly, the Emperor put himself prominently forward 
in the question of the future settlement of the Principalities, 
and the Bussian diplomatists observed with complacency 
that he showed himself more Bussian than themselves in 
pressing his views upon the Conference. 

The union of the Principalities under a foreign prince was 
obviously inconsistent with the arrangement come to at 
Osborne in August 1857, and our Government were startled 
to find that the terms of that arrangement, as understood by 
Lord Palmerston and Lord Clarendon, and reduced by them 

7 In November 1858 the Emperor of the French made the same statement 
at Compiegne to Lord Palmerston. (See Ashley's Life of Palmerston, vol. ii. 
p. 160.) 



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1858 THE DANUBIAN PRINCIPALITIES. 253 

to writiog at the time (supra, p. 1 14), were ignored by Count 
Walewski and by the Emperor. That arrangement was, 
that the union of the Principalities should not be political, 
but should be administrative merely, the avowed object 
being to prevent the formation of a great independent State, 
under the government of a prince who would on the first 
opportunity throw off his allegiance to the Porte, and would 
yet not be powerful enough to resist the dictation of Russia.* 
It was in vain that the Emperor's attention was called to 
the terms of Lord Palmerston's Memorandum, and to the fact 
that M. Walewski had excused himself from signing it at 
the time on the ground that ' among men of honour writing 
was unnecessary.' The Emperor adhered to his position, 
that the only concession he had ever assented to was that 
the Principalities should not be ruled over by a foreign 
prince, but that otherwise their union was to be complete. 

Had the question been free of all secondary considerations, 
had Russia been content to remain within the frontier as- 
signed to her by the Treaty of Paris, and had the welfare of 
the Principalities been the only issue at stake, the arguments 
in support of the French Emperor's views of consolidation 
were irresistible. After the Principalities had declared in 
favour of union, but before the Plenipotentiaries had resumed 
their sittings in the Conference at Paris, Mr. Gladstone 
(4th May) had raised a discussion upon the question in 
the House of Commons, and advocated complete union with 
his accustomed eloquence. ' If it did not take place,' he 
said, ' the Principalities would be a constant source of anxiety 
to European policy ; whereas, if they were united, a living 
barrier would be interposed between Russia and Turkey, 
neither would the union have the slightest effect injurious 

* Realising in this way the Emperor Nicholas's idea of the Principalities as 
* in fact an independent State under his protection.' These were his words to 
Sir Hamilton Seymour. 

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254 THE DANUBIAN PRINCIPALITIES; 1858 

to the Ottoman Empire.' Subsequent events have certainly 
not confirmed this view. Bather may they be said to have 
shown how truly both Austria and the Porte divined what 
might be expected to ensue, when they contended that the 
union would be a great blow to the power of Turkey to 
maintain herself in Europe, and that the Principalities 
would prove no barrier to Bussia when at some future time 
she believed herself strong enough to make an inroad upon 
the Danubian Provinces. Our statesmen were possessed of 
sure information that this inroad would be attempted upon 
the very first opportunity, and that moreover it was 
Russia's settled purpose to reclaim that portion of Bess- 
arabia, formerly in her hands, which under the Treaty 
of Paris had been annexed to Moldavia. With this know- 
ledge not merely Austria, but England, which by the 
Tripartite Treaty of Paris had engaged to * guarantee the 
independence and the integrity of the Ottoman Empire, 9 
was bound to regard with extreme jealousy the proposition 
of Powers which were known to be unfriendly to the Porte, 
all the more that one of these Powers, France, was a party 
to the guarantee, on the obligations of which she was already 
turning her back. 

So divergent were the views of the various Powers, that it 
seemed at one time as if the Conference would break up, and 
the Eastern question be again thrown open. But at length 
a middle course was agreed upon of establishing an identity 
of institutions in both Provinces, but with a separate ministry 
for each, two elective assemblies, arid a Central Commission, 
which was to prepare the laws common to both Principalities. 
After nineteen days of discussion in the Conference a Conven- 
tion embodying the future Constitution of the United Princi- 
palities of Moldavia and Wallachia on this basis was signed on 
the 19th of August ; and thus one great subject of disquietude 
was for the moment put to rest. The result was a mortifica- 



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1858 THEIR ADMINISTRATIVE UNION. 255 

tion to Austria and to the Porte, for although the Conference 
bad not adopted the principle of a complete union of the 
Principalities under a foreign prince, yet it was obvious that 
this must sooner or later follow by the mere pressure of 
events. 4 Accordingly, the first act of each of the Provinces 
was to elect the same Hospodar, Prince Couza, as their head, 
a step which, probably from an oversight* the terms of the 
Convention had not prohibited. The inconvenience of the 
union, imperfect in form, but practically complete, was re- 
moved in November 1861 by the consent of the Sultan to a 
complete administrative union during the life of Prince 
Couza. This was, of course, only the forerunner of a perma- 
nent arrangement. 

Although the adherence of the English Cabinet to a policy, 
to which they considered themselves bound by their recent 
Treaty engagements towards Turkey, was very unpleasiug to 
the Emperor of the French, and somewhat ruffled our diplo- 
matic relations for a while, it produced no change in his 
zeal for the English alliance. Even while the discussion 
between his Minister and ours as to the question of the 
Principalities was in its most unpromising phase, he ad- 
dressed the Queen on her birthday with his wonted cordiality. 
In the same letter (23rd of May) he took the opportunity of 
suggesting how happy it would make the Empress and him- 
self, if Her Majesty and the Prince would visit Cherbourg 

4 The result was viewed, not without cause, by the Emperor of the French as a 
practical triumph of his views. In a circular letter addressed by M. Walewski to 
the French Ministers at Foreign Courts, after the Convention had been signed, he 
speaks of that document as ' giving to the Principalities a denomination, which 
is a sort of homage paid to the principle of Union.' ' Its arrangements,' he 
adds, ' constitute a real union in substance ; ' and, indeed, the whole arrange- 
ments of the Convention were unexceptionable in themselves, apart from 
any questions of extraneous policy. To provide against the contingencies 
apprehended by Austria and the Porte was simply impossible, as neither 
the Porte could be put under conditions to avoid giving pretexts to Russia for 
invasion, nor Russia be debarred from finding them at some future opportune 
moment. 

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256 INVITATION TO THE QUEEN 185* 

during the ffetes that were to take place this summer on the 
completion of the great works there. This letter arrived as 
the Prince was on the point of setting out for Germany, and 
was answered the next day (28th May) by the Queen, who 
expressed regret that she did not at that moment see any 
prospect of being able to be present on the occasion of the 
great naval display contemplated at Cherbourg. 

It was natural that the Sovereign of England should 
hesitate in complying with a request to take part in any 
demonstration of this kind. The works of Cherbourg, 
originally meant as a menace to England, made France her 
most dangerous adversary, and she could scarcely, therefore, 
regard their completion with much satisfaction. Reflection, 
and the communications which passed between our Ambas- 
sador at Paris and the Tuileries showed, however, that the 
Emperor's request was made, not in a spirit of ostentation, 
but from a wish on his part to mark emphatically, that, if he 
had brought to completion the works which had been in 
progress since the reign of Louis XIV., he had done so, not 
to put England on her defence, but only to strengthen the 
position of France in Europe. Accordingly, when the pro- 
position was renewed in June by the Due de Malakoflf in an 
interview with Lord Malmesbury, our Government came to 
the conclusion that Her Majesty's presence, as desired by 
the Emperor, would be of great political benefit. « Nothing,' 
Lord Malmesbury wrote to the Queen (24th June), 'has 
so favourable an influence on the Emperor's mind as these 
personal interviews with your Majesty.' The Emperor, it 
was known, had been much disappointed when he learned 
from the Queen's letter to him that he could not count upon 
her presence. * I believe,' Lord Cowley wrote (28th June) 
to Lord Malmesbury, ' that on this side the Channel, Her 
Majesty's visit would be of great use in calming irritation, 
&c. You best know what the effect would be on the other 

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1858 THE F£TES AT CHERBOURG. 257 

side of the water ; * but I feel confident of one thing, that 
nothing does the Emperor so much moral good as seeing the 
Queen and Prince. His confidence in the judgment of his 
Royal Highness is unbounded.' It was accordingly arranged 
that the Queen should visit the Emperor at Cherbourg, but 
should take her departure before the fetes connected with the 
opening of the great basin began. 

The arrival of the King of the Belgians with his family 
(17th June) on a visit to the Queen agreeably relieved the 
hard work which the height of the season brought upon the 
Prince, made harder this year than usual by the excessive 
heat. He had during this month more than his wonted 
share of the labour of opening or laying the foundation stones 
of new Institutions and of presiding at old ones, an irksome 
duty, but one from which he never shrank, where a good 
object was to be served. In addition to the greater public 
questions, he was also much interested in the passing at this 
time of a Bill for repaying the Government advances to the 
Exhibition Commissioners, and severing their connection with 
that body, who were for the future charged with the indepen- 
dent administration of the valuable estate, the acquisition of 
which had been in a great measure due to the Prince's energy 
and foresight. 

About this time he became assured of an interesting 



• A Royal visit on such an occasion provoked, as it could not fa.il to do, 
some very bitter articles against the Emperor in the English journals, more 
especially The Times, that were scarcely calculated to cement the entente cor- 
diale between the two countries. Even if no distrust of the French Emperor's 
intentions had existed, the serious fact for England remained, that France 
was about to open * a great port and arsenal built avowedly as a menace to 
her [England's] shores, and certain to cast upon her for all time coming 
a vast, but now, alas! a necessary expense' — (Times, 9th of August). We 
might or might not be safe with the French Emperor, but what but an equal 
command of force at home could guarantee us against the hazards of the 
future? The tone of many of these articles was calculated to wound the 
Emperor, and to beget bad blood in France, with no obvious countervailing 
advantage. 

VOL. IV. S 



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258 SPEECH BY THE PRINCE 1858 

prospect, to which playful allusion is made in the following 
letter to the Princess Royal : — 

'Buckingham Palace, 23rd June, 1858. 

* Uncle Leopold and his children are well, bright and 
active, Marie sweet as ever, Philippe developing daily, Leo- 
pold also greatly improved. . „ . 

6 1 suppose I may now assume that I have every chance of 
becoming at 39 a venerable grandpapa. This will give to 
the coming grey hairs in my whiskers a certain significance, 
which they have hitherto lacked. . . . 

'The Due de Malakoff was greatly delighted at the 
removal of General Espinasse and the Minist&re de Siirete 
Publique, and called it " une espece de croquemitaine pour 
effrayer les enfants qui n'Stait plus de nos jours? In 
reference to the general himself he said to your mother: 
" Je n'aime pas les gens qui out le front fuyant devant et 
la tete toute pointue derri&re ; cela tient plus de Vecureuil 
et du lihvre que de Vhomme. Eh bien, tiest un pew 
Espinasse ! " he added, making as he spoke the drollest and 
most impossible grimace.' 

A few days afterwards the Prince presided as usual at the 
annual dinner of the Trinity House, when he paid a cordial 
tribute to the splendid valour and endurance of the army in 
India. In doing so he took the opportunity of giving ex- 
pression to an apprehension which was ever uppermost in his 
thoughts, that through a mistaken economy England should 
impose an unfair strain upon the military forces at her dis- 
posal, and be some day caught at a disadvantage before she 
could get her resources together. What he knew of the 
elements of disturbance which were at this moment fermenting 
throughout Europe, at which we have glanced, but of which 
he could not speak, gives a special significance to the con- 



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1858 AT TRINITY HOUSE DINNER. 259 

eluding sentence of his speech in proposing the toast of * The 
Army and Navy : '— 

( If this toast/ he said, 'must at all times be received by 
Englishmen with feelings of pride and satisfaction, who could 
approach it at the present moment without being also penetrated 
by those of admiration and deep thankfulness for the heroio 
deeds and sacrifices with which our gallant troops are now 
struggling, not only for the honour and interests of our country, 
bat I trust for the cause of civilisation and the future happiness 
of millions of people now unfortunately in part our enemies ! 
May the Almighty continue to watch over our brave countrymen 
in the East, and grant them uninterrupted victory ! His hand 
becomes most apparent when we consider how small are the 
means with which so much has been achieved. The deepest 
responsibility, however, attaches to us, not to rest satisfied with 
the enjoyment of the advantages and successes obtained by such 
self-sacrificing devotion, but to take care that, by maintaining 
these noble services in sufficient numbers, the tasks which for 
our benefit may be from time to time imposed upon them, should 
not carry with them the almost certain immolation of those who 
are expected to perform them.' 

That the condition of public affairs at this time seemed to 
the Prince far from satisfactory is apparent from the follow- 
ing letter to Baron Stockmar, at the close of which he speaks 
of a visit to Prince Frederick William of Prussia and his 
bride, to which the Queen and Prince were now looking 
forward with great interest : — 

4 1 feel an impulse to write you one line, before leaving 
London, which we do to-day. I must be brief, having to 
pack up and being pressed for time. The heat has of late 
been greater than ever, besides which, the most important 
questions are under discussion, some which affect the posi- 
tion of the Crown in the tenderest points, such as the Indian 
Government and the position of the army; others, on which 
the safety of the country depends, navy, army, militia, and 



8 2 



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3 6o LETTERS BY THE J>RINCE 1858 

the most perplexing complications in foreign affairs (die 
schwierigsten auewartigen Verschidmngen), which will be 
discussed and despatched (uber die Knie gebrochm) without 
the grave consideration they demand. Having our eyes 
open and our souls free, these things cost us much anxiety 
and much trouble. 

* Uncle Leopold and his children leave us to-day. I have 
never seen him better or in better spirits. Philip develops 
steadily and well. 

6 1 have engaged Colonel Bruce for Bertie. General 
Bouverie has resigned. My equerry, Seymour [now Marquis 
of Hertford], has taken his place ; and I have replaced him 
by Colonel Hardinge, Lord Hardinge's second son, whom you 
will no doubt remember. 

' Alfred is upon a yachting excursion in Ireland, and is 
waiting in Valentia for the arrival of the Transatlantic cable. 6 
Grey has gone for his health to Wiesbaden. To-morrow we 
go to the camp, where we shall remain two nights, and take 
the Duke of Malakoff with us. 

4 The Emperor has invited us to Cherbourg for the open- 
ing of his great arsenal, and the inspection of his formidable 
fleet. The Ministers press us to accept, which we have 
agreed to do, with the qualification that the visit is to be a 
private one, and therefore before those festivities begin, at 
which we should be out of place. 

'We shall afterwards go to the Ehine on the 10th of 
August, so that the meeting at Coblenz may take place on 
the 12th. Our stay is only to last fourteen days. Can you 
not arrange to come there at the same time ? It is really 

• The first that was laid. It worked only long enough to show that the 
problem of Atlantic submarine communication had been solved, and then 
became incurably silent. The fact of its having been laid successfully 
was made koown at Cherbourg on the 6th of August, while the Queen was 
there, and created a great sensation amid the festivities which were then 
going on. 



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1858 TO BARON STOCKMAR. 261 

nothing of a journey for you, and it would give great pleasure 
to us all. Think it over, and pray write to me about it. 

' Buckingham Palace, 5th July, 1858.' 

'P.S. — We have just received letters from Potsdam, in 
which Fritz declares against the journey to the Rhine, and 
invites us to Babelsberg. Whether we can go, I cannot say.' 

The Court remained at Osborne throughout the month of 
July. We extract a few passages from the Prince's letters 
during this period. To Baron Stockmar he writes on the 
19th:— 

' The plans for our journey are now settled. We start on 
the 9th, and calculate on reaching Babelsberg by the 12th. 
We -shall return on the 28th. Our journey is not to be a 
Royal progress, but to have an entirely private character ; 
we have therefore begged to be excused from all receptions, 
and *hall not even receive any Royal visits, but, without 
actually travelling under assumed names, shall preserve a 
kind of incognito. God grant all this may turn out 
well! Could you not come to Potsdam at that time? It 
would be really so easy for you and would give me the 
greatest pleasure. Pray turn this over and let me have a 
line from you. We take Alice and Lenchen with Miss Hild- 
yard with us. In our suite will be Lord Malmesbury, 
Phipps, Colonel Hood, Captain Du Plat, and Sir James 
Clark ; Lady Macdonald and Miss Cavendish. On the 5th, 
we have a rendezvous with the Emperor at Cherbourg. We 
shall not, however, take any part in the fetes there, but 
hurry home on the 6th, the day they begin. 

* When Cherbourg is completed, England's position will 
be greatly altered, and we must strengthen our forces if we 
are not to be entirely at our neighbour's mercy. By the 

• 



262 LETTER BY THE PRINCE. 1858 

railway an army can be brought there, and transported from 
that gigantic haven to our coast in four hours. 

c In politics the aspect of things is peculiar : our Tory 
Ministry holds on, but democracy makes great strides under 
it. The hatred of the Radicals towards Lord John and Lord 
Palmerston, whom they call the Dowager Premiers, is quite 
incredible, and on every question gave Lord Derby a great 
majority. 

6 The India Bill is nearly through, but all the difficult 
Indian questions are still to come. The war is not yet over 
by any means, and although we have recruited 60,000 men 
within the year, our forces are beginning to be exhausted, 
and the recruits are not soldiers equal to encountering the 
fearful hardships of an Indian war. 9 

Again, on the 22nd, the Prince writes : — 

4 As I wrote to you, that we were to take Alice, Lenchen, 
and Miss Hildyard with us to Babelsberg, I must now tell 
you, that on further consideration and discussion we have 
decided to leave them here. Educational reasons alone have 
led to this unwelcome resolution. On the other hand, I hope 
that no reasons of any kind whatever will influence you not 
to come to Potsdam, as your education is completed, and 
you can contribute materially to ours. 

' Our decision as to Cherbourg remains as before. 

* I, yesterday, saw Alfred as volunteer upon the mast of 
the itotto, reef the topsail in a strong breeze, and do all 
sorts of things at that dizzy height with great dexterity, 
which would have taken away your breath, as they did mine.' 

The tropical heat of this July was not without its effect in 
shortening the deliberations of Parliament. It was made 
still more intolerable to members by the noxious vapours 
from the Thames, which were rendered almost pestilential 



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1858 PARLIAMENT PROROGUED. 263 

by the unusually high temperature. Out of evil comes 
good; and a measure for a system of main drainage for 
London, which was to free that noble river from the pollutions 
which were converting it into a fertile source of disease, was 
carried with more promptitude than is commonly the fate of 
schemes, however urgent, which involve a considerable in- 
crease of taxation. The Bill for the purpose, introduced by 
Mr. Disraeli only on the 1 5th of July, became law before the 
close of the Session. 

On the 30th of July Parliament was prorogued by 
Commission. The Session, stormy though it had been, had 
not been unfruitful. The Government, ably led in both 
Houses, had held its position under circumstances of no 
ordinary difficulty, and they were able to point to several 
important pieces of legislation which had been carried under 
their auspices — the Government of India Bill, the settlement 
of the long vexed question of Jewish disabilities, an impor- 
tant enlargement of the powers of the Encumbered Estates 
Commissioners in Ireland, and other measures of imperial 
importance. 

The promised state visit to Cherbourg, looked forward to 
with eager interest both in France and England from the 
moment it came to be known, was now to be paid. About 
noon of the 4th of August, the Royal yacht Victoria <md 
Albert steamed away from Osborne with the Queen and 
Prince and the Prince of Wales on board. When about six 
miles from Cherbourg they came up with the imposing 
squadron which was to form the Royal escort during the 
visit, and which had started about six hours before Her 
Majesty. It consisted of the Royal Albert, 131 guns, with 
Admiral Lord Lyons on board; the Renown, 91 guns ; the 
Diadem, 32 guns; the Euryalus, 51 guns; the Oura^oa, 
31 guns; and the Racoon, 22 guns. Besides these there 
were in immediate attendance on the Royal yaoht, under the 

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264 ARRIVAL AT CHERBOURG. 1858 

command of Captain Denman, the Fairy, the Banshee, the 
Black Eagle* the Vivid, and the Trinity House yacht Irene. 
The escort kept up with the. Eoyal yacht, and steamed with 
her into the harbour about half-past six, amid the thunders 
of salutes reiterated from the French ships of war which 
crowded the bay, and from the numberless forts which com- 
manded it. 

The contrast between the scene which now presented itself 
to the Royal visitors, and that which met them on their 
visit to Cherbourg the previous year, was indeed striking. 
Then, it will be remembered {supra, p. 115), the golden 
haze of a setting sun illuminated the quiet town, and the 
only shipping to be seen consisted of a few small trading 
vessels. Now, to quote Her Majesty's Diary, ' the evening 
was dull and grey, but the harbour was filled. Nine French 
line-of-battle ships were anchored along the breakwater, and 
on every side were numberless small vessels, all brilliantly 
decked out. As we steamed in, salutes, which were repeated 
three or four times, were thundered from every ship and fort. 
The effect was truly splendid. We anchored in the middle 
of these ships, surrounded by our own. The whole scene 
was beautiful.' 

The salute by which Her Majesty was received was unlike 
anything of the same kind that is known on this side of the 
Channel. Celebrated as the French are for the lavish ex- 
penditure of gunpowder on such occasions, * the actual per- 
formance ' was pronounced by the brilliant word-painter, who 
recorded the incidents of the visit for The Times, to have ' as 
much surpassed expectation as it defied description.' 

' As the Royal yacht,' he wrote, ' turned round between the 
marine forts which mark the western entrance, Admiral Hame- 
lin, in the Breiagne, 120, fired a single gun. There was a 
moment's pause, and then the salute began, not in a close, 
irregular, and dropping cannonade, which so distinguishes a 



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1858 RECEPTION OF ROYAL VISITORS. 265 

similar honour from the English navy, but gun after gun, 
running along each tier like a train of fire, till the very frame of 
the listener seemed shaken, as if even the air smote him in its 
reverberation. Hardly had this great cannonade commenced, 
when all the ugly forts which dominate every part of the harbour, 
threatening with a thousand ominous, f earful- loo kiDg embrasures 
each ship that passes, took up the same song, only firing their 
massive guns in volleys of eight at once, and as fast as they 
could be reloaded and discharged. It is but rarely such a 
•cannonade is ever heard, and seldom, if ever, that it has been 
given for a purely peaceful welcome. Bat, at all events, it 
showed in an instant the great extent and number of thefortiBca- 
tions that cover every spot of vantage ground around the town. 
All towards sea was a mere mass of fire and smoke ; but that one 
looked for, though this was far from being all. The ring of fire 
seemed not only to embrace the town, but to extend far into the 
country, up among little ravines, where no one ever dreamt that 
.guns lay lurking, at the top of picturesque eminences, where one 
fancied only villas and rural cottages could exist ; around thick 
slumps of trees and flanking yellow corn-fields came the same 
dreadful uproar, till it seemed as if all France, even from her 
hills and mountain tops, were doing honour to the advent of the 
Queen of England.' 

The Emperor and Empress had reached Cherbourg only 
about two hours before. They had been present at the 
ceremonial of formally opening the railway from Mantes to 
Cherbourg, 7 and had scarcely reached the Prefecture, where 
they were to reside during the f§tes, when the roar of the 
salutes announced the arrival of the Queen. The Royal 
yacht had no sooner anchored than the Ministre de la Marine, 
Admiral Hamelin, came on board with greetings from the 
Emperor. He was soon followed by Admiral Defosse, who 
was in command of the fleet at Cherbourg, and by Lord 
Cowley, who had come down from Paris the night before, 

T This railway, like that from Rouen to Havre, which completed the route 
to Paris, had been designed by an English engineer, Mr. Joseph Looke, and 
constructed by an English contractor, Mr. Thomas Brassey. 



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266 CONVERSATIONS WITH EMPEROR 1858 

and Mr. Hammond, our consul at the port. Lord Lyons 
also came on board. The illness, which was soon to prove 
fatal to this distinguished man, was painfully visible in his 
appearance. 'He looks like a shadow,' says the Koyal 
Diary* 

6 We dined at seven,' the same record continues. ' We 
were very merry. The breakwater was partially illuminated. 
At a little before eight arose the cry, " The Emperor is 
coming ! " Bands played, the yards were manned, and cheers 
resounded; and the splendid barge, white with a green 
velvet canopy and golden eagle, advanced. Albert received 
our hosts at the foot of the ladder, I at the top. First came 
the Emperor, and then the Empress (in a lilac and white 
silk dress, and white and black lace bonnet), both of whom I 
embraced. General Niel, the Princess© d'Essling, the Due 
de Malakoff [who had come over from England in the Royal 
Albert], the Prefet Maritime, and others, came with them. 
We took them, after a few words had been spoken, into the 
canopy, where we sat down. The Emperor was much embar- 
rassed ; she less so, and most kind. . • . The Emperor asked 
anxiously if the feeling was still bad against France in England, 
— if they still expected an invasion ? We smiled, and said that 
the feeling was much better, but that thia very place caused 
alarm, and that those unhappy Addresses of the colonels had 
done incalculable mischief. The Emperor replied, he knew 
and felt this, — that all had been done without his know- 
ledge, and that they had been published to his great 
distress ! 

' A little after nine the Emperor and Empress left, amid blue 
and red lights on board our yach^ and our other vessels. A 
new light of a Captain Fitz Maurice on board one of our ship^ 
cast an illumination upon the Emperor's barge as it passed 
toward the shore, which had a magical and most picturesque 
effect. During the evening, a vessel, with a good band on 

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1858 AT CHERBOURG. 267 

board, went playing round our yacht. At twenty minutes to 
ten we went below, and read and nearly finished that mogfc 
interesting book, Jane Eyre.' 

The brief entry in the Prince's Journal the same evening 
is significant : ' Empress looks ill ; he is out of humour at 
all that is said about him in England.' What the Prince saw 
that evening of Cherbourg and the French fleet deepened 
his convictions as to the necessity for England looking more 
sharply to her coast and naval defences than she had of late 
been doing. Next morning, his Journal mentions that the 
Queen and himself had called the attention of Lord Malmesr 
bury and Sir John Pakington, toho were with them, to the 
* necessity of strengthening our munitions of war, as Cherbourg 
must become a very great peril to us (hochst verderblichy 

The night had been stormy and wet, but the morning 
cleared and brightened into a splendid day* * Up early,' 
again to quote Her Majesty's Diary. * While dressing, came 
a tremendous salute, repeated, according to the French custom 
three times, and so close that all the windows and doors 
shook.* . • • After breakfast I sat in the canopy sketching 
for more than an hour. Such an animated scene ! All these 
fine ships decked out, and countless boats moving backwards 
and forwards. Great numbers of people have come over from 
England — among them, a hundred members of the House of 
Commons in a ship chartered by themselves, and hosts of 
every kind in yachts and steamers. 9 

• The signal for this salute had been the hauling down of the Admiralty flag 
on the Royal yacht at S A.M., and the hoisting of the French flag at the fore. 
Immediately the yards of the French fleet were manned, the ships dressed, 
and the deafening broadsides began. 

9 The chronicler of Tk$ Times writes (5th of August) : 'At least 150 vessels of 
the Thames, Victoria, and Royal Yacht Clubs are already in the harbour, and 
every hour adds numbers to the little fleet. They are skimming outside the 
breakwater in little squadrons, and the horizon is covered with fresh arrivals, 
staggering in under a press of canvas, and leaning over in a way which as- 
tonishes even the naval inhabitants of the town, and makes them ask with 
eager curiosity, " Do the English sail in such boats for pleasure ? " * 



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268 LANDING OF ROYAL VISITORS 1858 

< ... At twenty minutes to twelve we all went on board 
the Fairy, Albert and George [Duke of Cambridge] in 
undress uniform, Bertie in the Highland dress, all others in 
full uniform. Then began the fine and deafening salutes, to 
which, however, one grew accustomed, and which have indeed 
a most brilliant effect, much finer than ours.' [No fewer 
than 3,000 discharges, fired with incessant rapidity during 
twenty minutes, were expended in this salute. The firing 
was continued after Her Majesty landed, and was kept up 
from fort to fort as she proceeded through the works on 
shore.] 

' We landed where we did last year, and were received by 
the Emperor and Empress, the former handing me out, &c. 
Got into the Emperor's carriage. «. . . The streets were gaily 
decked out, and lined with troops, and the Infanterie de 
Marine and sailors, all crying " Vive VEmperewr ! Vive 
VImpSratrice ! Vive le Prince Imperial ! " and " Vive la 
Heine d^Angleterre ! " which I dislike so much. The nice 
caps of the paysannes were very numerous, transcendently 
white, and they looked most pretty and picturesque. We drove 
through the town to the Prefecture. . . . Marechal Vaillant, 
Count Walewski, Madame Labedoy&re and Madame De 
Lourmel (widow of a general killed in the Crimea), and some 
others, received us at the door. We went up a narrow staircase 
which brought us to a small salon opening into two smaller 
rooms, out of which we passed into the not uncomfortable 
living room of the Emperor and Empress. It had been 
fitted up with crimson satin and velvet portieres for the 
occasion, and the prints of ourselves sent last year to the 
Prefet Maritime were hung up with inscriptions underneath. 

4 Here we talked for a little, and then breakfasted, or 
rather lunched, in one of the small salons with the Emperor 
and Empress, George, Ernest [Prince Leiningen] and Bertie 
— a regular luncheon finishing with coffee. Both were 

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1858 AT CHERBOURG. 269 

amiable, but the Emperor rather boutonnS and silent, and 
not ready to talk. Afterwards, when we sat down and talked 
with the Empress, she spoke most anxiously of the state of 
affairs — of her hope that matters would go well, and said 
much the same as the Emperor had done, of the harm our 
press articles did when translated into foreign journals, our 
powerlessness to prevent it, &c. We also talked of the 
dreadful " attentat " [Orsini's] itself, of which she gave me 
an account. ... 

4 The company having assembled in the next room, we 
went in to talk to them. Madame Walewski was there, and 
a pretty young Spanish lady, a friend of the Empress, called 
Mademoiselle Valeria [who soon afterwards married the 
Due de Malakoff], and Generals Niel and MacMahon, both 
trte-ai/mablea, and M. Eouher, Minister of Public Works. 
After cerclevng, and sitting with the Emperor and Empress, 
at two we entered our carriage again, and drove on past the 
new railway station, where there was a large encampment of 
tentes d'abri for the soldiers who could not be housed (there 
were 80,000 of them in Cherbourg), on to the foot of the Fort 
La Roule, up which a very steep winding road has been en- 
gineered, that was still very soft and somewhat dangerous. 
Soldiers were posted at intervals all the way up. The fort, 
where we got out, was not yet finished.' 

The Queen speaks with admiration of the view from 
the fort, and the Prince in his Journal calls it wonderful. 
The picturesque writer in The Times, from whom we have 
already quoted, and who evidently accompanied the Royal 
cortege, describes the view as * of its kind, probably the finest 
in the world.' 

1 All Cherbourg,' he writes, ' with its immense extent of docks, 
basins, and harbours, and, above all, its triple row of fortifications 
and rock-built batteries spreading in all directions, lay far 
beneath, like a gigantic plan. Almost every street in the town 



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270 VISIT TO FORT ROULE. 1858 

could be distinctly traced; the place each fort was built to 
dominate could be seen at a glance, while in the roadstead lay 
the combined fleets dressed from truck to water's edge in colours, 
and surrounded by a host of tiny yachts, furling their white 
sails, like birds settling down upon the water, or skimming 
about inside the harbour in all directions. Nor was the view 
inland of a less striking or a less varied character. Far and 
near hills and valleys which were seen over, with their crowds of 
ancient-looking villages, fine old churches and square ivy-grown 
towers peeping out from among the trees, or lying snugly in the 
hollow of some charming valley half hidden in the cool shade. 
The only drawback in the picturesque effect of the scenery was 
the perpetual forts. . Scarcely a nook, however quiet, which was 
not surmounted by the scarped earthworks indicating bat- 
teries, while no hamlet seemed so poor or so insignificant as not 
to be worth dominating with a hundred cannons. It was 
cannons, cannons, cannons, wherever you turned. They poured 
upon you from every corner, they commanded every turning, till 
one grew weary of the perpetual black muzzles, and could not 
help wondering what in the name of wonder they were meant to 
attack or defend. But the object with which Fort Roule itself 
is built is plain enough. Cherbourg protects the Emperor 
against all the world, and La Roule protects the Emperor against 
Cherbourg.' 

The Queen and Eoyal party walked down from the fort to 
the town, a distance of about a mile, and then drove again 
to the Prefecture, and subsequently to * take a look at the 
now completed and very magnificent basin which is to be 
opened on Saturday.' They then re-embarked, and reached 
the Royal yacht about five, 'under the same tremendous 
salute ' as before. 

Her Majesty's Diary here naively records how the pleasure 
of this superb reception was embittered in a way which has 
marred the enjoyment of many of her subjects at meaner 
festivities. A dinner this evening on board the Bretagne 
was part of the programme. 4 We were both made very 
nervous,' the Queen writes, * by nw poor Albert having to 



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1858 DINNER ON BOARD < LA BRETAGNE.' 271 

make a speech at this dinner in answer to one which the 
Emperor was going to make, and having to compose it.' As 
the eyes of Europe were upon what was taking place at 
Cherbourg, and every word which fell from the Prince's lips 
was sure to be searched for latent meanings by the diploma- 
tists and journalists of Europe, nervousness was excusable 
even in a man of the Prince's tact and fertility of resource. 
He proved himself at any rate equal to the occasion. We 
return to the Diary. 

* At a little before seven we were ready, and saw the Em- 
peror and Empress go on board the Bretagne amidst a 
tremendous salute. It was a beautiful sight, for the setting 
sim lighted everything up, and shone through the smoke of 
the guns. We followed almost immediately under a similar 
deafening salute, and were received by the Emperor at the 
foot of the ladder ; Admiral Defosse saluting with his sword as 
a military officer, and the men on the lower deck all drawn up 
like troops. The Empress was at the top of the ladder . • . 
looking lovely. After waiting for a very short time in the 
Admiral's cabin we went to dinner, a very large one of nearly 
seventy people, handsomely arranged under canvas on deck. 
The space, though low and narrow, was prettily decorated 
with flowers, and flags, and initials. All the Emperor's very 
large suite, and ours, the Admirals, and all the Captains of 
both fleets were there. I sat between the Emperor and 
George, Lady Desart on the Emperor's other side. Albert 
sat opposite between the Empress, who had Bertie on her 
other side, and Madame Labedoyere. 

< The Emperor unbent, and talked in his usual frank 
way to me during dinner. But he was not in good spirits, 
and seemed sensitive about all that has been said of 
him in England and elsewhere. At length, dinner over, 
came the terrible moment of the speeches. The Emperor 
made an admirable one, in a powerful voice, proposing my 

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272 THE EMPEROR'S SPEECH 1858 

health and those of Albert and the famUle Royale. Then, 
after the band had played, came the dreadful moment for 
my dear husband, which was terrible to me, and which I 
should never wish to go through again. He did it very well, 
though he hesitated once. I sat shaking, with my eyes 
clouds 8ur la table. However, the speech did very well. This 
over, we got up, and the Emperor in the cabin shook Albert 
by the hand, and we all talked of the terrible u emotion " we 
had undergone, the Emperor himself having "changed 
colour," and the Empress having also been very nervous. I 
shook so I could not drink my cup of coffee.' 

* My speech,' the Prince records in his Diary, ' went off 
well, thank God ! ' The Emperor had been at pains in his 
speech to express in the strongest terms his unaltered devotion 
to the English Alliance. He happily turned the presence of 
the Queen on board the Admiral's ship at Cherbourg to 
account as the best evidence that recent events had left his 
feelings unaltered. 

4 In truth,' he said, 4 facts speak for themselves, and they 
prove that hostile passions, aided by certain untoward incidents, 
have failed to alter either the friendship which subsists between 
the two Crowns, or the desire of the two nations to remain on 
terms of peace. Nay, more, I cherish a confident hope that if 
attempts were made to stir up old resentments and the passions 
of a former epoch, they would fall harmless against the common 
sense of the people, as the sea-waves recoil from the breakwater, 
which at this moment protects the fleets of both Empires against 
the violence of the sea.' 

After the customary words of acknowledgment of the 
toast, the Prince, speaking for the Queen, skilfully caught 
up the tone of the Emperor's speech : — 

4 You are aware,' he said, 4 that a good understanding between 
our two countries is the constant object of the Queen's desires, 
as it is of yours. She is, therefore, doubly happy to have the 



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1858 AT CHERBOURG. 273 

opportunity, by her presence here at this time, of joining with 
yon in the endeavour to knit as closely as possible the bonds of 
friendship between the two nations. This friendship is at the 
root of the prosperity of both, and the blessing of Heaven will 
not be denied it. The Queen proposes " The health of the 
Emperor and Empress." ' 

Later in the evening the Royal party witnessed from the 
deck of the Bretagne a display of fireworks, in which all the 
resources of pyrotechnic skill seemed to have been laid under 
contribution. 'The evening,' to return to the Queen's 
Diary, ' was beautiful. There was no wind. It was quite 
warm. The band of the Guides played, and a choral 
society of workpeople from Cherbourg sang, in a ship 
close by.' 

The fireworks were on a scale so magnificent, that the 
concluding flight of bombs and rockets was said at the time 
to have alone cost 25,000 francs. A moment of comparative 
darkness followed this discharge, and then all at once the 
yards and masts and bulwarks of the ships were seen illu- 
minated by blue lights. The crews shouted, and innumer- 
able rockets of all hues shot into the air from the ships and 
yachts in the harbour and roadstead. While these brilliant 
coruscations were flashing on every side, the Queen and 
Prince re-embarked in the Imperial State barge, accom- 
panied by the Emperor and Empress. As it rowed slowly 
away, the ships again rolled forth their thunders, and the 
length and brightness of the flashes of fire that shot into the 
darkness from the ships' sides produced an effect at once 
terrible and sublime. ' The barge,' the Queen notes by the 
way, * moves slow, and the men pull so much more slowly 
than ours that they do not inspire me with the same con- 
fidence.' The Emperor and Empress came on board the 
Royal yacht, and, having wished their Royal guests good-night, 
were rowed away to land, illuminated by a magnificent flight 

TOL. IT. T 

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274 DEPARTURE FROM CHERBOURG. 1858 

of coloured rockets from the fioyal yacht, and cheered with 
such cheers as only English sailors can give./*** t"U>*i H* m'U 
. . 1, We resume the e^tipcts from Her Majesty's Diary : — 

* Friday, August 6. — Affie's fourteenth birthday ; may 
God bless and protect this dear child ! Warmly we wished 
each other joy. This day year the Emperor and Empress 
arrived at Osborne, and this day one hundred years, as the 
Emperor himself reminded me, the English bombarded 
Cherbourg S Beautiful day ; fresh wind, and a good deal of 
motion from the tide for a little while. The Cowleys, with 
Lord Chelsea and two attaches, came early on board, as well as 
Mr. Hammond, who told me yesterday that the famous carriage 
we drove in last year (supra, p. 118) had been retained, and 
two plates put up, one on the outside and the other in the 
inside of the inn at Bricquebec, to the effect, " Ici a descendu 
S. M. la Heine d'Angleterre." At a little past ten we saw 
the Emperor's barge approaching. By a quarter to eleven he 
and the Empress, with an immense suite, including Marechal 
Vaillant (who is charming, and whom I am most partial to) 
and Marechal Baraguay d'Hilliers (who was extremely com- 
plimentary), came on board. . . . We told both the Emperor 
and Empress that we hoped to see them soon again, and how 
useful it was de se voir, which they reciprocated. At length, 
at half-past eleven, they left us, after a tender leave-taking 
on the part of the Empress, and went on board the Bretagns. 
We got under way immediately * [the Emperor standing the 
while on the poop of the Bretagne waving his hand], 'and 
steamed out, preceded by the escort, under heavy salutes, 
leaving the gay and never-to-be-forgotten scene behind us.' 

' Between the intervals of the salute/ The Times* chronicler 
writes, ' the cheers were loud and hearty as the Royal yacht, 
clearing her way through the smoke, rushed past the lines of the 
English vessels, which were tearing and slashing through the 
foam at a great rate. The instant the Queen had taken the lead 



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1858 ARRIVAL AT OSBORNE. 275 

the English began the return salute from the heaviest guns of the 
frigates and line-of-battle ships, with such a number of 68- 
pounders as made all within ten miles earnestly wish the gun- 
powder compliments at an end.' 

Soon after four the Royal yacht, attended by only the 
Trinity yacht Irene, rounded the Needles, and 'at twenty 
minutes to five,' says the Royal Diary, 'we landed at our 
peaceful Osborne, leaving George and all but our own 
attendants to return to London. The evening was very 
warm and calm. Dear Affie was on the pier, and we found 
all the other children, including Baby, standing at the door. 
Deckel [a favourite dog] and our new charming kennel-bred 
Dachs " Boy " also received us with pleasure. 

4 We went to see Affie's table [of birthday presents] — 
entirely nautical. Albert was suffering with, headache, the 
result of his speech. I joined him out on. the lawn in an 
hour, and then went with the children — Alice and I driving 
— to the Swiss Cottage, 10 which was all decked out with flags 
in honour of Alfred's birthday. The children had lunched 
there. Alice, Affie, and Mr. [now Sir John] Cowell were 
the additions to our dinner-party. I sat between Albert 
and Affie. The two little boys [Princes Arthur and Leopold] 
appeared. A band played, and after dinner we danced, with 
the three boys and three girls and the company, a merry 
country dance on the terrace. A delightful finale to our 
expedition ! It seemed a dream, that this morning at twelve 
we should have been still at Cherbourg, with the Emperor 
and Empress on board our yacht.' 

The Prince, in his Journal, sums up the incidents of the 
last three days in the few pregnant words : * The interviews 
must have done good, although I am conscious of a change 
in the Emperor.' Looking back on the Queen's graphic 

19 A mention of this cottage and its objects will be fonnd in a note, 
toI. i. p. 292, ante. 

t2 

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276 CHANGE IN EMPEROR OF THE FRENCH 1858 

record of the Emperor's manner, one is reminded of those 
signs of * a hot friend cooling,' which Brutus (Jvliu% C(B8ar, 
act iv. sc. 2) detected in his coadjutor Cassius, when his 
messenger Lucilius, in answer to Brutus' inquiry how he 
had been received by Cassius, replied : 

' With courtesy and with respect enough ; 
But not with such familiar instances, 
Nor with such free and friendly conference, 
As he hath used of old.' 

In the presence of one who had always dealt with him so 
frankly and fearlessly as the Prince, the Emperor could not 
have been at ease, conscious as he must have been of having 
not many days before concluded an arrangement with Count 
Cavour at PlombiSres, with ulterior objects, which he knew 
both the Queen and Prince must condemn. It is scarcely 
necessary to look further for the cause of that reserve, which 
not even his profound personal regard for his Boyal guests 
could enable him to throw off. 



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277 



CHAPTER LXXXVIL 

The display of naval force at Cherbourg could not fail to 
startle and alarm many of those who had come from England 
to witness the ffctes ; and the reports in the journals of what 
France had done in the way of increasing her means both of 
defence and attack produced a deep impression throughout 
the country. Instead of the facts so frankly put before us 
being quietly accepted, as a warning to look to the state of 
our own naval defences, they were made, both by some of our 
public men, and by many of the leading journals, the text 
for very unmeasured attacks upon France and the French 
Emperor. If the object had been to provoke our neighbours 
to use their gigantic forces for the purposes of the invasion to 
which the French colonels had pointed, language better fitted 
for the purpose could scarcely have been chosen. As it was, 
it produced a feeling of extreme bitterness on the other side of 
the Channel, and our Government learned from their agents 
in Paris, before even the close of August, that the intemperate 
invectives of the press and of certain members of Parliament 
had created deep dissatisfaction among leading officers in 
both the French services who had hitherto been the best 
inclined towards us. The angry and defiant tone of these 
articles and speeches had, indeed, gone far to undo all the 
good which the peacefully disposed had not unreasonably 
expected might have ensued from the Queen's visit to 
Cherbourg. It was impossible not to regret this result, 

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278 NAVAL STRENGTH OF FRANCE. 1858 

when a man so remarkable for his friendly disposition to 
England as General Canrobert professed himself to be seriously 
offended, and talked of the impossibility of preserving peace, 
if the same system of provocation were continued. 

There was, fortunately, no reason to distrust the sincerity 
of the Emperor's wish, so strongly expressed in his speech 
at Cherbourg, to maintain peaceful relations with England. 
JBut a nation's sole security against aggression lies in its power 
to hold its own against all comers ; its determination to rest 
upon its own strength, and not on the friendly assurances even 
of its most friendly neighbours. Knowing what they did of our 
naval forces at this moment, the Queen and Prince could not 
contemplate without uneasiness what might happen, should 
any rupture with France take place. However improbable 
such a rupture might seem, in politics, as in life, it is always 
the improbable which is sure to happen* They therefore 
pressed the question of strengthening our naval forces upon 
Lord Berby, on their return to London on the 9th of August, 
but found him unable to hold out any assurance that his 
Cabinet would move in the matter. It was not long, how- 
ever, before the Ministry saw reason to adopt a different view ; 
but it is apparent, from what the Prince wrote two days 
afterwards to the Duchess of Kent, that he had taken 
seriously to heart what he regarded as a very dangerous 
supineness : — 

' Cherbourg, as you will have seen by the papers, if you 
have got sight of the right ones, is safely over. The Emperor 
was preoccupied and sad ; the Empress looks out of health. 
The war preparations in the French Marine are immense ! 
Ours despicable ! Our Ministers use fine phrases, but they 
do nottiing. My blood boils within me. 

' It will cut me to the heart to be in Germany, and not to 
visit our home. It is just .about thirteen years when we were 
all united there ! ' 

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1858 ROYAL VISIT TO GERMANY. 179 

This letter was written from Antwerp on the 11th, the 
Queen and Prince having arrived there that morning in the 
Royal yacht from Gravesend on their way to Germany. 
Tried as they had been by the great heat in England this 
summer, they found that they were to encounter on the 
Continent a more severe ordeal from the same cause. 
' Blazingly hot,' are the words of Her Majesty's Diary, ' with 
a stifling haze.' Such was Antwerp, as the Royal party 
drove through the town to the railway station. At Malines 
they were met by King Leopold and his second eon, who 
accompanied them to the frontier at Venders. At Aix-la- 
Chapelle they were received by the Prince of Prussia, who 
had come to be their companion for the rest of their journey 
to Babelsberg, their point of destination. Diisseldorf, where 
they were to halt for the night, was reached soon after four. 
Here the Prince and Princess Hohenzollern awaited the 
arrival of the train. The authorities of the town were with 
them ; but, says the Queen's Diary, ' as I had begged for no 
official reception anywhere, there were no salutes of artillery 
or troops drawn up — merely the Schiitzengesellschaft (the 
burghers of the town). The Prince Hohenzollern was on 
horseback. The Princess is very pleasing ; must have been 
very pretty ; is the same height as Stephanie, and has the 
same manner. • . • We drove with her and the Prince of 
Prussia over the bridge of boats across the Rhine, near 
which were many steamers and boats prettily decorated, and 
through the densely crowded and very prettily decorated 
town. The people were most kind and civil. We drove 
through the principal streets along the A11& Gasse, planted 
like Boulevards, to the Breidenbacher Hof 9 our inn, which 
is in this street. The accommodation was very fair, several 
rooms, all close together, but oh, so hot ! . . • 

* A little before seven the Prince and Princess Hohenzollern 
came to fetch us and drove us to their house — the Jagerhof. 



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280 JOURNEY TO BABELSBERG. 1S58 

In the hall were the Prince of Prussia, the Prince of Hohen- 
zollem's two youngest sons, 1 fine boys of seventeen and fourteen, 
and the youngest daughter, Marie, who is only twelve. She 
will be very handsome, but has not Stephanie's beautiful eyes 
or angelic expression. . . . The Prince of Prussia led me in to 
dinner, and I sat between him and Prince Hohenzollern, Albert 
between the Princess Hohenzollern and the Princess of Alten- 
burg, Prince Hohenzollern's niece, and very pretty.' Among 
the guests at dinner were the English Ambassador at Berlin, 
' Lord Bloomfield, who met us at Aix-la-Chapelle. During 
dinner an excellent military band played. The heat fearful, 
just as it was at Birmingham. One of the guests, Regierungs- 
Prasident von Massenbach, was very amiable, and spoke most 
kindly of Vicky, as indeed every one does. . . . We drove 
back, as we came, through a dense crowd, cheering and 
hurrahing. The grounds along our route were splendidly lit 
up ; all along the lakes, of which there are several in the 
grounds, there were borders of coloured lamps, and the same 
upon a small bridge, while fireworks and red and blue lights 
were let off from the water and waterside — the prettiest thing 
of the kind, and most tasteful I ever saw — all the spontaneous 
act of the people and arranged by artists. Night fearfully 
hot. 

' Thursday ', August 12. — Up at six. Air still fresh, but 
streets very oppressive. While I was dressing, Albert came 
in, quite pale, with a telegram, saying, " My poor Cart is 
dead I (Mein armer Cart ist gestorbm ! ) " [Cart had been 
Prince Albert's valet for twenty-nine years.] * I turn sick 
now (14th August) in writing it. . . , He died suddenly on 
Saturday at Morges, of angina pectoris. I burst into tears. 
All day long the tears would rush every moment to my eyes, 

1 The elder of these is now the Prince of Roumania. The Princess Marie 
married in 1861 Philippe, Count of Flanders, brother of the King of the 
Belgians. 



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1858 DEATH OF PRINCE'S VALET. 281 

and this dreadful reality came to throw a gloom over the long- 
wished-for day of meeting with our dear child. Cart was 
with Albert from his seventh year. He was invaluable ; well 
educated, thoroughly trustworthy, devoted to the Prince, 
the best of nurses, superior in every sense of the word, a , 
proud independent Swiss, who was quite un hamme de 
conficmce, peculiar, but extremely careful, and who might 
be trusted in anything. He wrote well and copied much 
for us. He was the only link my loved one had about him 
which connected him with his childhood, the only one with 
whom he could talk over old times. I cannot think of my 
dear husband without Cart! He seemed part of himself! 
We were so thankful for and proud of this faithful old 
servant, he was such a comfort to us, and now he is gone ! 
A sad breakfast we had indeed. Albert felt the loss so 
much, and we had to choke our grief down all the day.' 

Before seven the Queen and Prince were on their way to 
the railway station, where they found the Prince of Prussia 
awaiting them. Speeding on through the well-cultured 
plains, and past the busy manufacturing towns of this part 
of Rhenish Prussia, Hamm in Westphalia was reached before 
9 a.m., where a brief halt was made, and 'a very broad- 
headed Qeistlicherf says the Queen's Diary, ' made ine a fine 
speech, and said he thanked me for the schemes Oeschenk 
(charming gift) which I had made the country in Vicky.' 
The country here becomes more picturesque, with the famous 
Teutoburger Forest visible from the railway, till the Weser 
is reached, flowing through fine rocks and hills. At Minden 
another halt was made, and here again ' generals and autho- 
rities were presented. Everywhere decorations, flags, and 
flowers, and the engines decorated.' As the train passed the 
Biickeburg station, the Baroness Lehzen, the Queen's gover- 
ness from childhood to womanhood, ' stood there waving her 

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k%i AT HANOVER. 1858 

handkerchief. The heat and dust had by this time become 
unbearable, 90° in our carriage.' 

Hanover was reached soon after mid-day. In the station 
4 stood the King and Queen of Hanover, and next to them 
Princess Frederick Charles of Prussia, the Duke of Bruns- 
wick, Feo Hohenlohe, my niece, and the Prince of Meiningen, 
to whom she is engaged, besides many gentlemen. There 
were also a band and guard of honour.' The Royal party 
at once proceeded to Herrenhausen, the country palace of 
the King, which was naturally full of interest for the Queen, 
from its associations with her family history. Here the 
Electress Sophia lived and died, and here George I. was 
living, when he succeeded to the English throne. After 
luncheon, 'many ministers and people' were presented to 
the Queen, in the garden, where, Her Majesty records, ' we 
were broiling, and much time was lost.' A drive through 
the town, in intolerable heat and dust, at length brought the 
Royal travellers to the railway, and they set off after four, 
mourning the lateness of the hour, * and I,' writes the Queen, 
' with a racking headache.' Brief halts were made at Wolfen- 
biittel and Oschersleben to receive further presentations, so 
that it was nearly eight before Magdeburg was reached, 
4 where was Fritz [the Prince Frederick William] rayon- 
nant, who got in and said Vicky was waiting for us at the 
Wildpark station, and many of the authorities with her. 
It was still very hot, but better than before, as the sun 
was gone. 

' It became gradually dark, and the time seemed very long 
as we approached nearer what we had come for. One more 
stoppage at Brandenburg, and we arrived at the Wildpark 
station. There on the platform stood our darling child, with a 
nosegay in her hand. She stepped in, and long and warm was 
the embrace, as she clasped me in her arms. So much to say, 
and to tell, and to ask, yet so unaltered, looking well— quite 

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185& ARRIVAL AT BABELSBERG. 283 

the old Vicky still ! It was a happy moment, for which I 
thank God ! 

* Another five or six minutes brought us to the Potsdam 
station, where were a band and a guard of honour of gigantic 
guardsmen with pointed caps, and all the princes and prin- 
cesses. • . • Then at the door of the station were the dear 
Princess of Prussia and the Princess Charles (her eldest 
sister). • , . After waiting a few minutes we got into open 
carriages ; I with the dear Princess and Vicky, and drove up 
to Babelsberg. The Castle was beautifully lit up. The 
Princess and Vicky took us to our rooms, which are very com- 
fortable. It was eleven ! Many well-known faces appeared 
among the servants, and I felt half at home. . • . We supped 
with our children and the Prince and Princess, and then 
went up to bed, wishing our dear child, as of old, good-night. 
Very pleasant. Hot and dusty and tired. My nerves gave 
way ; poor Cart's death came before me in all its reality, and 
my tears flowed.' 

The next day was passed quietly at the Castle. Seated on 
the declivity of a richly-wooded hill, about three miles from 
Potsdam, and looking down upon a fine expanse of water, 
Babelsberg commands a very extensive view of the surround- 
ing country. A finer site indeed can scarcely be imagined. 
The house, though small, is admirable as a piece of architec- 
ture. Internally, it is arranged in the manner of Old 
English houses, and the general effect is one of great 
elegance and comfort. ' Everything there,' the Queen writes, 
' is very small, a Gothic bijou, full of furniture, and flowers 
(creepers), which they arrange very prettily round screens, 
and lamps, and pictures. There are many irregular turrets 
and towers and steps. . • . My sitting-room commands splen- 
did views of the lake (the Havel), the Bridge, Glienicke 
(Prince Charles's Chateau), the Marmor-Palais, Pfingst-Berg, 
and looks on one of the lovely terraces* . « There ar* 



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284 AT BABELSBERG. 1858 

charming walks under trees, and fountains on all the terraces. 
• . • Vicky came and sat with me. I felt as if she were my 
own again. . . . ' The heat continued ' dreadful, sickening,' 
— but the Queen and Prince were able to drive, with their 
party, late in the afternoon, through Potsdam to the gardens 
of Sans Souci, past the famous mill, and back ' by the little 
village of Nowawes, inhabited chiefly by weavers, who are 
very poor. . . . People very friendly everywhere.' 

Amid the pleasant distractions of this holiday excursion 
the official duties of the Sovereign were not forgotten. A 
step was now about to be taken of the highest importance 
in its bearing on the government of our Indian Empire. The 
Act for the better government of India had become law on 
the 2nd of this month, and the Proclamation had to be 
settled, which was to be forthwith issued by the Queen in 
Council, setting forth the principles on which the govern- 
ment of that country was for the future to be conducted. 
The draft of this document was transmitted from England 
to Lord Malmesbury, the Minister in attendance on Her 
Majesty, and laid by him before her upon the 14th. It did 
not seem to the Queen to be conceived in a spirit or clothed in 
language appropriate to a State paper of such great impor- 
tance. ' It cannot possibly remain,' is the note in the Prince's 
Journal, ' in its present shape.' The objections were sub- 
mitted in detail to Lord Malmesbury, and by him trans- 
mitted with the following letter from the Queen to Lord 
Derby next day : — 

' Babelsberg, 16th August, 1858. 

' The Queen has asked Lord Malmesbury to explain in 
detail to Lord Derby her objections to the draft of Proclama-^ 
tion for India. The Queen would be glad if Lord Derby 
would write it himself in his excellent language, bearing in 
mind that it is a female sovereign who speaks to more than 
a hundred millions of Eastern people on assuming the direct 

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1858 INDIAN PROCLAMATION. 285 

government over them, and after a bloody civil war, giving- 
them pledges which her future reign is to redeem, and ex- 
plaining the principles of her government. Such a document 
should breathe feelings of generosity, benevolence, and 
religious toleration, and point out the privileges which the 
Indians will receive in being placed on an equality with the 
subjects of the British Crown, and the prosperity following in 
the train of civilisation.' 

A few extracts from Lord Malmesbury's Memorandum 
will show the value and importance of the suggestions elabo- 
rated by the Queen in concert with the Prince. The draft 
Proclamation had spoken of the power which the British 
Government possesses ' for the undermining of native religions 
and customs.' Her Majesty, Lord Malmesbury wrote, ' dis- 
approves of the expression which declares that she has the 
" power of undermining '■' the Indian religions. Her Majesty 
would prefer that the subject should be introduced by a • 
declaration in the sense that the deep attachment which Her 
Majesty feels to her own religion, and the comfort and 
happiness which she derives from its consolations, will preclude 
her from any attempt to interfere with the native religions, 
and that her servants will be directed to act scrupulously in 
accordance with her directions.' 

Again, the draft Proclamation had said that ' to relieve 
poverty* would be one of the Government's endeavours. 
' These words,' says the Memorandum, ' scarcely express the 
meaning of the writer. The Queen thinks that this part of 
the paragraph should be extended, and that, in speaking of 
future " prosperity " in India, a direct mention of railways, 
canals, and telegraphs should be made, with an assurance to 
those prejudiced populations that these works are the basis 
and will be the causes of their general and individual wel- 
fare.' 

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286 INDIAN PROCLAMATION. 1858 

The concluding suggestion of the Memorandum is pecu- 
liarly worthy of a Christian sovereign : — 

' Her Majesty wishes expression to he given to her feelings 
of horror and regret at the results of this hloody civil war, 
and of pleasure and gratitude to God at its approaching end, 
and Her Majesty thinks the Proclamation should terminate 
by an invocation to Providence for its blessing on a great 
work for a great and good end.' 

Lord Malmesbury had telegraphed to Lord Derby on the 
15th that Her Majesty was not satisfied with the Procla- 
mation. This had led Lord Derby to examine the draft; 
and before the Queen's letter and Lord Malmesbury's Memo- 
randum reached him, he had anticipated Her Majesty's 
wishes, and entirely recast the Proclamation, amending it 
in nearly every particular to which Her Majesty had taken 
exception. On the 18th he forwarded the new draft. 'He 
is happy to believe,' he wrote in his letter to the Queen, 
'that in the draft Proclamation, as he has re-written it, 
he has anticipated all the objections which your Majesty 
has so justly taken, and framed the document entirely 
in the spirit of your Majesty's observations.' The docu- 
ment, as it now stood, was one altogether worthy of the 
occasion, conveying as it did a message of so much goodwill, 
and an assurance so strong, that the Sovereign ' held herself 
bound to the natives of her Indian territories by the same obli- 
gations of duty which bound her to her other subjects,' that 
it was well calculated to ensure their confidence. Only a 
few words were added to it by the Queen. Among these 
was the last sentence of the Proclamation as published: 
'May the God of all power grant to us, and those in 
authority under us, strength to carry out these our wishes 
for the good of our people!' Lord Canning must have 
found some compensation for the wrong previously done him 



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1858 AT BABELSBERG. 287 

in the fact that the principles and almost the language of his 
Oude proclamation were adopted in this Imperial manifesto. 
To resume our extracts from Her Majesty's Diary : — 

* Saturday ', August 14. — Babelsberg. Large and dread- 
fully hot dinner. The whole Legation: Field-Marshal 
Wrangel, Von Manteuffel, First Minister, Home Minister 
Von Massow, Obermarschall Graf Keller, and M. Nothomb 
were there. Wrangel is seventy-six and a great character. 
He was full of Vicky and the marriage ; said she was an 
angel, called me a Maine liebe Konigin" and said I looked 
" Als 6b Sie zum Tanze gingen." Manteuffel was most un- 
pleasant, cross, and disagreeable. We sat on the terrace, 
listening to the fine band. 

4 Sunday, August 15. — More oppressive still. At ten we 
drove with the Princess and Vicky to the Garrison Church at 
Potsdam. Here all the Princes met us, and we went into a 
pew below, just opposite the pulpit and altar — rather close. 
The Princes, except Albert, all went to a pew upstairs. 
The church, a large one, is without any architectural 
features — the gallery full of soldiers. Just behind the altar 
is the tomb of Frederick the Great, closed in by a gilded 
railing. The clergyman was reading from the Gospel when 
we entered. Then came a fine chorale, during which, as 
in Scotland, we sat ; then a longish sermon, then another 
chorale, then a prayer with an allusion to us, and the 
Blessing. • . • After our return to the Castle we saw our 
dear, excellent old friend Stockmar, who was delighted to see 
us again. He looks really well I No one came to luncheon 
but old Alexander Humboldt, who is in his ninetieth year, 
and wonderful for his years — full of knowledge and full of 
conversation, 9 talking of his travels in the most interesting 

* Sir James Clark, who accompanied the Queen and Prince to Berlin, makes 
the following mention of Humboldt in hi9 Diary : — ' Visited Humboldt, whom 
I found remarkably well, and his mind active and aliveAo everything going on. 

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288 VISIT TO BERLIN. 1858 

way. A violent thunderstorm came on with heavy rain and 
cooled the air delightfully. . . . Only a family party at 
dinner. After dinner came all our suites, and the cathedral 
choir, placed in the gallery which overlooks the large rooms, 
sang beautifully some fine Church music (kirchUche Sachen). 
' Monday, August 16. — Air deliciously refreshed. At a 
quarter to ten we set off by rail for Berlin with the Prince 
and Princes and all our suites. We were there in half-an- 
hour. Vicky and Fritz met us at the station, along with 
Field-Marshal Wrangel, General Bonin, and General Alvens- 
leben. I got into a phaeton with the Prince [of Prussia] and 
drove through the Brandenburg Gate. Our first halt was at 
the Prince of Prussia's most beautiful palace, before which 
stands Rauch's noble monument to Frederick the Great.' 

The King's palace was next visited, and here, after 
luncheon, the Royal visitors were conducted over the prin- 
cipal rooms of this colossal residence. ' We went across an 
open gallery (very cold and inconvenient in winter) to the 
King's apartments — strange, dark, vaulted, dull rooms, left 
just as he used them, full of pictures of the interiors of 
churches, busts, &c. ; then to the Queen's rooms, fine and 
spacious, but very cold, full of family pictures and busts, and 
everywhere Russian memorials, showing quite a culte for the 
Emperor Nicholas. From the Queen's window the first shot 
on the 18th of March, 1848' (see vol. ii. p. 17 ante) 'was 
seen.' The magnificent series of State apartments was then 
visited, which had a special interest, as being those in which 
the royal f<§tes had been given which welcomed the Princess 

It is delightful to see the freshness of mind of a man verging on ninety years 
of age.' Humboldt died on the 6th of May in the following year. The Prince, 
writing a few days afterwards to his daughter at Berlin, says, ' What a loss is 
the excellent Humboldt I Yon and Berlin will both miss him greatly, and I 
am glad that we had another opportunity of seeing bim last summer. People 
of this kind do not grow upon every bush (an den Batmen) and they are the 
grace and glory of a country and a century.' 



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1858 REVIEW AT POTSDAM. 289 

Royal to Berlin on her marriage. * The last of all these is 

the Weisser Saal, nearly though not quite so large as our Ball-- If. t * , r v > * m 

room [at Buckingham Palace])* with a gallery at the top and ^ - v , v , - A . • ... 

fine frescoes all round. Here the state dinner on Vicky's ; < ' 

arrival was given and the Polonaise took place. From this 

you descend by a staircase, over which there is a fountain, 

into the magnificent new chapel which the King has built, 

all of the finest marble, with a dome and endless paintings 

of saints and great men on a gold ground. Very fine, but 

very peculiar. • • . This concluded the sight-seeing {Be&ich- 

tigung): 

The return to Potsdam was made by railway, and the 
evening closed with ' a charming little gemuthlich family 
dinner in the Library : only we six, and Philip [of Flanders], 
good amiable Philip. Albert and Vicky played a little on the 
piano ; we looking at albums in the Princess's pretty rooms. 

* Tuesday, August 17. — Dear Mama's birthday. May 
God bless and preserve her yet for many many a year ! The 
Prince and Princess, and of course our dear Vicky, wished 
me so warmly joy ! Fritz had gone on to Potsdam for the 
Review.' To this the Queen went at ten in an open carriage 
with the Princess of Prussia. ' All the Princes and gentle- 
men were on horseback, Albert on a fine grey horse of Fritz's.' 
The Review took place in the large area, called the Lust- 
Garten, in front of the Potsdam Palace. 'Here all the 
splendid troops were drawn up. The Prince and other 
generals rode near our carriage, and the fifes and drums 
played as we came to each regiment. Then we took up our 
place. The generals and officers on foot were numberless ; 
one could not mistake them, for every one here, except those 
jn the Civil Service, is always and all day long in uniform. 3 

* In the Diary already quoted Sir James Clark says: ' One thing strikes an 
Englishman in these formal dinners and evening-parties — the perpetual uniform, 
not always very graceful, particularly the short coat. None of the Royal 

VOL. IV. V 

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290 REVIEW AT POTSDAM. 185S 

There were about 4,000 men oat. • • • They marched past 
in very quick time, with a peculiar step, throwing out the 
leg and stamping ; but this action is not so disagreeable en 
masse as it is singly, and in the officers, neither does it strike 
one so much. The infantry first marched past, and then 
came the cavalry at a trot. The Prince' [of Prussia] c rode 
at their head with his staff, and Fritz at the head of his 
Brigade. Princes William of Baden and Julius of Holstein 
came past with the artillery and hussars. It was beautiful. 
The band of each infantry regiment is preceded by the fifes 
and drums, who play first a sort of salute, always before the 
band commences. There were hardly any standards, the 
old ones not being renewed. The Princes kindly wished me 
joy of the day. It was a great treat. There were many people 
there, all very friendly and kind, cheering and smiling. 
. ' We returned to the Schloss, and got out. First we went 
to Frederick the Great's rooms, left just as he used them, 
blue and silver, rich Louis XV. style, silver frames, every- 
thing silver, and well preserved. Several relics of his were 
shown, all carefully kept, his hat, and flute, a book of his, 
an old piano, &c. . • . Then we went to the late Queen 
(Louise's) rooms, which have been left entirely untouched, 
everything in its place, even to her parasol ; aU sad and 
cheerless, for the colour is gone out of everything, and the 
whole is so old-fashioned. Thence we went to the late King's 
rooms, and to the present King's and Queen's — not very 
comfortable, the present King's in particular.' 

family or princely class ever appear out of the stiff military dress. In all 
places and situations you meet military. The whole country seems occupied 
in playing at soldiers, and the officers are perpetually occupied in drilling the 
young conscripts, as they only serve three years. Our officers have sinecures 
compared to those of Prussia. The upper classes seem to think of nothing but 
military matters. This is ?ery sad.' The Austrian and French campaigns 
proved that this severity of drill was no mere 'playing at soldiers/ The 'sad' 
element felt by Sir James Clark remains, and is likely to remain, untU many 
questions are determined, which will scarcely be settled by mere diplomacy. 

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1858 FREDERICK THE GREATS TOMB. 291 

After this, all the generals and officers were presented by 
the Prince of Prussia. ' They were all standing round the 
hall, and I had to speak to each. . . • This over, we got into 
our carriages and drove to the Garnisonkirche, where we 
got out and went to the tomb of Frederick the Great, the 
anniversary of whose death (seventy-two years ago) it was. 
His father is also buried here in a marble sarcophagus. 
Thence we went upstairs to see the uniforms of the late King 
of Prussia, the Emperor Alexander [of Russia], and Emperor 
Francis [of Austria], the three allies, kept in glass cases. 
The old custos was present at Frederick the Great's funeral. 
* The visit to Frederick the Great's tomb recalled to my 
recollection a circumstance which had been mentioned to me 
many years before by my dear mother. As she was born the 
very day Frederick died, her grandmother, the old Duchess 
of Coburg (a Princess of the House of Brunswick), whose 
sister had been Frederick the Great's wife, would never 
allow the Duchess of Kent's birthday to be celebrated, which, 
as the Duchess said, gave her an early dislike for the Prus- 
sians. This old Duchess of Coburg was also sister to Queen 
Ulrica Juliana of Denmark, who behaved so unkindly to 
poor Queen Caroline Matilda.' 

Towards sundown the Royal visitors drove by Sans Souci 
to the Neues Palais, ' a splendid building that reminded me 
much of Hampton Court, the same colour, same style, same 
kind of garden, with splendid orange-trees, which in the cool 
calm evening sent out a delicious smell. . . . We got out 
for a few minutes and saw one side and suite of rooms of this 
enormous Palace. The Garten-Saal, one enormous hall, all in 
marble, with incrustations of stones, opening into a splendid 
room or gallery, reminded me of the Salle des Glaces at 
Versailles. We went into Frederick the Great's room, and 
wrote our names down, as we had done at Potsdam.' 

The next day (18th) the Prince went with his son-in-law 

v 2 

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292 SANS SOUCL 1858 

in the morning to Berlin, where he paid a visit to Alexander 
Humboldt. The day was passed by the Queen quietly with 
her hosts in the beautiful grounds at Babelsberg — * entirely 
the Prince of Prussia's creation, for formerly there was 
nothing but sand and a few oaks and firs! We saw the 
monument which the King gave him in remembrance of the 
Baden campaign, St. Michael destroying the dragon. • • . 
Albert came back at three. . • . Later, we received Baron 
Koller, who brought an autograph letter from the Emperor 
of Austria congratulating me on my arrival in Germany — a 
very kind one.' In an interview with Mr. Julian Fane, the 
English attach^ at Vienna, some days afterwards, the Em- 
peror said that he was alone prevented from paying his 
respects in person to the Queen by the impending accouche- 
ment of the Empress. 

The rest of the day was spent upon the island on the 
Havel called the Pfauen Insel, in a fete which the Queen 
describes as * charming and thoroughly German. . . . A 
band played; the evening was warm, still, and beautiful, 
and we were very merry. ... At half-past eight we all 
embarked in our steamer, and had a very pleasant voyage 
back by moonlight.' 

The Palace of Sans Souci was visited the following day. ' It 
is quite in the rococo style — built by Frederick the Great, 
who died there. It is all on the ground-floor, merely one story, 
low and dark, damp and cheerless. • • • Here also are rooms 
all in silver, which was Frederick the Great's taste. . . . The 
terraces, with the splendid orange-trees, which everywhere 
here are magnificent, and with festoons of creepers drawn 
from one to the other, are lovely. There are four hundred 
orange-trees here, two hundred years old. . . . The view from 
the Belvedere, which we next visited, is very fine, and the new 
Orangerie is magnificent, really one of the finest pieces of 
architecture that can be imagined — but what an expense 1 ' 

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1858 CHARLOTTENBURG MUSEUM. # 293 

Berlin was again visited next day (20th) for the purpose 
of inspecting the fine art collections of the Museum and 
New Museum. Professor Waagen was in attendance, to 
lighten the fatigue by directing attention to the finest works 
of art, but much of the greatest interest was necessarily left 
unseen. As it was, the Queen was quite exhausted, and re- 
turned to the Palace, the Prince remaining for some time 
behind, unable to come away from the innumerable fine 
things which he might not have another chance of seeing. 
After resting at the Palace for some time — to resume our 
extracts — ' we started in an open carriage, the Princess of 
Prussia, Vicky, and I, for Charlottenburg. . . • This is 
another Palace, and, though the situation is not pretty, 
it is, to my taste, far the most cheerful of the Palaces. It 
was built by Frederick William I. (the first King), who 
married George I.'s sister, Sophie Charlotte, after whom it is 
called. You enter a hall below, where there is a fine marble 
statue of the Empress-mother of Bussia. The culte for her 
is wonderful, as indeed it is for the whole Bussian family, 
and quite artificial, as the country hate all that is Bussian. 

' We saw first the rooms of Queen Sophie Charlotte, and 
the curious old chapel in which all the Princes and Princesses 
have been confirmed, and some christened and married. 
Thence we went through the garden along a fine avenue of 
silver firs, to the Mausoleum, where the late King and Queen 
are buried. In the beautiful chapel, which is all of marble, 
with admirably selected inscriptions in large golden letters 
upon the walls, are the noble recumbent figures, by Bauch, 
of the King and Queen, sleeping peacefully. Blue glass 
from above sheds a beautiful soft light upon these monu- 
ments. I admire the King's most. • • • The Prince [of 
Prussia] took us down into the vault, where stand the two 
stone coffins of the King and Queen, covered with wreaths of 
immortelles placed there by the family. Vicky and Fritz 

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294 CHARLOTTENBURG. 1858 

placed the last. . . . We returned to the Schloss, and there 
went upstairs and saw the King's and Queen's rooms and 
their reception-rooms — all beautiful and cheerful. The poor 
King's everywhere contain such a curious mixture of things : 
Russian and scientific portraits and souvenirs, views of 
churches, &c. In the bedroom I was touched to see the 
prints of our children, as also Bertie's picture. Melancholy 
to see in all these Palaces the poor King's and Queen's 
deserted rooms, with all their little things left just as if they 
were there. 

' We then visited the late King's and Queen's rooms, also 
left quite untouched, time alone showing its melancholy 
traces. Here was the Queen's unfinished work — she died in 
1811*— the King's coat, &c. There are curious life-size 
pictures of Frederick the Great's Guardsmen, the very tallest 
he had, in some rooms below-stairs. Upstairs there is a 
most beautiful salle in a suite of fine reception-rooms, called 
" Der Trompeter-Saal," on account of a curious sort of organ 
with trumpets which stands in it, and which was wound up, 
and set off playing and making an overpowering noise. 
Returning to the hall below, we went through a long gallery 
with wood carving and pictures, reminding me forcibly of 
Hampton Court, and through some smaller apartments, in 
one of which is the celebrated picture of Frederick the Great 
and his sister as children, he playing a drum and still in 
petticoats. We returned to the railroad, going through a 
new street, called Victoria Strasse after Vicky, full of 
beautiful houses and villas, and reached Babelsberg at half- 
past six. • • . For a moment we saw Herr von Bethmann- 
Hollweg, who expressed the people's delight at our visit. 
We had a charming quiet little dinner of six in the library ; 
and after it we all looked at a portfolio of old prints, from 
which Albert chose a good many. Vicky worked.' 

The same day, the Prince notes in his Journal, ' came the 

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1858 THE FRIEDENSKIRCHE. 295 

India Proclamation, rewritten by Lord Derby. It is now 
excellent (reckt gut). 9 

The next day (21st) there was much business to be trans- 
acted with Lord Mahnesbury in reference to Indian and 
Foreign affairs, and the Eoyal Diary records the arrival, by 
way of St. Petersburg, of * very good telegraphic news from 
China. We have obtained, it is said, all we wanted. There 
is no mention of an indemnity to us, 4 though there is of one 
to France, and a grant of territory to the Bosnians. But 
the ports are open to all, and there is to be toleration of 
religion.' The afternoon was spent in a drive to the 
Pfingstberg, 'a new unfinished building of the King's, 
with a colonnade and two Italian campaniles, commanding 
a very fine view over the Havel, the Heiligensee, where 
the Marmor-Palais stands, Potsdam, &c. You can also see 
the spire of Spandau. The evening, after a very hot day, 
was magnificent. There is in Germany the same sharp 
\ clearness in the air which I found so striking at Paris, and 
, which is so different from what we have in England. • • • 
4 We went next to the Friedenskirche, close to Sans Souci 
— a beautiful Italian church with a campanile and open 
cloisters. In the first court is a colossal bronze statue of 
Our Saviour by Thorwaldsen. In a small niche or side 
building, open in front, there is a beautiful marble Pietd, by 
Bietschel, with a very fine painted dome over it. The church 
is entirely marble, of different colours, in the Byzantine 
style; so also are two lovely little side chapels, in one of 
which is a font. There are some beautiful things, too, in 
the colonnade.' * 

4 An indemnity was, however, provided by a separate article, annexed to the 
treaty, of two millions of taels, about 660,000/., on account of losses sustained 
by British subjects, and of the same sum on account of military expenses. 

• In the Friedenskirche was buried in the year 1861 the late King of 
Prussia, by his own particular desire ; and in the year 1866 there was also 
buried there Prince Sigismund, the Princess Boyal's third son, who died, when 

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296 THE NEW PALACE. 1858 

The telegraph brought tidings the next day (Sunday, 
22nd) of the birth of a son to the Emperor of Austria. A 
letter of congratulation was immediately addressed to the 
Emperor by the Queen, in which she was able to reciprocate 
the regret which he had expressed at his inability personally 
to make Her Majesty's acquaintance during her present 
visit to Germany. English service was read at the Castle by 
the Chaplain to the English Mission. ' We were all there, 
and our suite, and the servants. The Dom Chor sang 
beautifully.' In the afternoon a visit was paid to the New 
Palace, a very magnificently appointed building, with no fewer 
than two hundred rooms. * There is a theatre in the Palace, 
and many splendid f&tes have been given there. So late as 
last year some were given for the Emperor and Empress of 
Russia, which brought on the last severe illness of the King. 
• . . There are some rooms done in silver, like those at Sans 
Souci and Potsdam, and all in very rich Renaissance style. 
Frederick the Great built this magnificent Palace after a 
war, to show that he was in no way impoverished by it. 
The millions it must have cost ! But none of these Palaces 
are wohnUch (liveable in). None like dear Babelsberg ! 

'Monday, August 23. — Very oppressive day. We left at 
ten with the Prince, Princess, and Fritz, for the railway, 
where our suites met us, and went to Berlin. Here we got 
into a barouche with the Prince and Princess, and drove all 
through the town. • . • The Konigsstrasse is the beginning 
of the old part or Berlin u city," not far from the Schloss, 
and the scene of the dreadful days in 1848. It is narrow, 
with high houses, and very picturesque. Here the crowd 
was very dense, and the acclamation very great. Nothing 
could exceed the kind and markedly friendly manner in 

nearly two years old, during the war between Prussia and Austria. The 
Princess Royal has had his resting-place converted into a small chapel. — Noti 
by ths Qcmnc. 

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1858 PRINCE CONSORTS BIRTHDAY. 297 

which we have been received everywhere. This is very 
striking, as the visit has been considered as quite private and 
unofficial.' 

An excursion was made the next day by steamboat upon 
the Hafelsee, and on the 25th a great field-day was held near 
Sans Souci, in an open space under the Buinen-Berg. To 
this Prince Albert rode, the Queen driving as before. ' The 
day was most favourable for the occasion — no rain, and no 
srm. ... It was a field-day, and most successful. The 
Prince and Fritz rode at the head of the troops as before. 
Old General Wrangel came to tell me the parole — ' Victoria, 
Albert, and Zorndorf,' this being the hundredth anniversary 
of the victory gained in that battle by Frederick the Great 
over the Russians. Home by twelve. • . . 

* Old Humboldt came to luncheon. He was quite won- 
derful; talked of having heard the speeches at Warren 
Hastings' trial, and of Lord Malmesbury's grandfather, when 
Minister at the Court of Frederick the Great. I saw a 
worthy old gentleman, Kiipfer by name, belonging to the 
Chancellerie, who is a great friend to England. He spoke in 
the strongest terms of our reception and visit as contrasted 
with those of the Emperor Nicholas, and several newspapers 
here have also observed upon this. Humboldt said much the 
same. So much to do, to write, to settle, people to see, Ac' 
The next day (the 26th) was the Prince Consort's birth- 
day. 'Blessed day!' says the same record. 'May God 
ever bless my beloved Albert ! The band kindly ordered by 
our children, and the Prince and Princess [of Prussia], played 
two hymns. I gave Albert all the children's letters. They 
had all written. So sad to be separated from them to- 
day. . • . Down to the drawing-room to arrange the Present- 
table, and found Fritz and Louise [Princess of Baden] 
there. Vicky soon followed, and then we went up to Albert, 
where we found Ernest [Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha], who 



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298 PRINCE CONSORT'S BIRTHDAY. 1858 

arrived this morning as a surprise. We took Albert down. 
My gifts were a picture of Beatrice, life-size, in oil, by 
Horsley, a complete collection of photographic views of Gotha 
and the country round it, which I had had taken by Bedford, 
and which particularly delighted Albert, and a paper-weight 
of Balmoral granite and deer's-teeth, designed by Vicky. 
Vicky gave her portrait, a small oil one, by Hartmann, very 
like though not flattered, an iron chair for the garden at 
Balmoral, and a drawing by herself. The Prince and Princess 
gave two bronze statues. Albert was pleased with all. Pour- 
ing rain. Still the band played. Ernest the addition to our 
happy breakfast. There were two birthday-cakes. Vicky had 
ordered one with as many lights as Albert numbered years, 
which is the Prussian custom.' 

The drive of the day was by the Neuer Garten to the 
Antique Temple, where there is another recumbent statue, 
by Rauch, of Queen Louise. ' It is less than that in the 
Mausoleum at Charlottenburg, which is over life-size, but in 
the main features it is the same, only there are some slight 
differences, which make this one much more beautiful. Its 
pose is more natural and easy. • • • Coming back we passed 
quantities of people, as if on a holiday, on account of the 
illuminations. Thousands came by extra trains from Berlin. 
The good kind people of Potsdam are going to illuminate 
Glienicke Bridge of their own accord. So kind ! Numbers 
of flags out everywhere in honour of the day. A family 
dinner-party, including Ernest and all the Princes. . • . The 
Prince gave Albert's health, before dessert, according to the 
custom here, and a salute was fired, and a flourish of 
trumpets given, when the health was drunk. 6 After dinner 

• Now let the kettle to the trumpet speak, 
The trumpet to the cannoneer without, 
The cannons to the heavens, the heavens to earth, 
1 Now the King drinks to Hamlet.' 

Hamlet, act t. sc. 2. 

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1858 PREPARING TO LEAVE. 299 

came all the suites, Foreign Ministers, &c. The whole place 
was beautifully illuminated. Bound all the walks and flower- 
beds on the terrace were placed lamps, wreaths of lamps 
along the roads, round the fountains brilliant red lights, and 
the bridge, all lit up, was especially striking. . . . The Dom 
Chor sang some pieces admirably, and a M. de Biilow played 
extremely well on the piano. . . . 

'Thus ended this dear day, which, however, I prefer 
spending at home with all the children. Still, it was great 
happiness to spend it with dear Vicky and Fritz, Ernest, the 
kind Prince and Princess, and Fritz and Louise of Baden/ 

4 Friday, August 27. — The last day. It made one very 
sad to feel this. • . . Visit from Stockmar. Satisfactory 
conversation with this kind Mend, who promises to watch 
over our precious child. Then over to Vicky, who was very 
low and nervous — God knows, I felt the same ! — and whom I 
cheered up as best I could. .. • . After luncheon Ernest came 
and took leave, going back to Gotha. At half-past five took 
a short drive alone with dear Vicky, alas ! for the last time. 
• • . Felt so at home, as if I had always been there. The old 
man on the [Glienicke] Bridge, who always talks, said, 
" Wiineche Ihnen erne glilcUiche B&ise ! (I wish you a safe 
journey !) " Saw Stockmar once more, and gave him our last 
farewell. . • • We broke up at half-past ten, and went up to 
our room with dear Vicky. Fritz joined us soon after. We 
stayed talking together, till eleven, happy, but dreading next 
day. Very, very sad on going to bed/ 

The leave-taking next day needs no description, after the 
picture presented in the preceding extracts of the happy 
hours spent during the last fortnight. It is told by the. 
Prince in his Journal in the fewest words : ' The parting, 
was very painful (Der Abschied sehr schmerzUchy 'Our. 
tears,' are the Queen's words, ' flowed fast, and so did Vicky's, 
but our last words were, "Auf baldiges Wiedersehn ! \ 

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300 THE RETURN HOME. 1858 

(To a speedy meeting again !)' All would be comparatively 
easy, were it not for the one thought, that I cannot be with 
her at that very critical moment, when every other mother 
goes to her child ! ' 

The Prince and Princess of Prussia accompanied their 
Royal guests as far as Magdeburg; so also did Prince 
Frederick and the Princess Louise of Baden. * Here, alas ! 
the real, last, and final leave-taking of all our dear friends 
took place. . . . So all were gone, and for a few moments I 
gave way — yet did I feel grateful, most grateful for all the 
great happiness I had enjoyed. 9 

The journey back to England was broken by a halt for the 
Sunday at Deutz, on the opposite bank of the river from 
Cologne. The Cathedral was visited, and everywhere the 
Royal visitors were greeted with the greatest friendliness by 
the crowds that thronged the streets and bridges of boats to 
see them. The city had put itself enfite. All through the 
streets the Union Jack and Prussian flag were hung up side 
by side, and the inhabitants had organised an illumination 
and a display of fireworks in honour of the visit. Besides 
the usual display, for which the situation of the town is so 
well adapted, * the whole Cathedral was lit up, so as to 
appear one mass of glowing red fire. A shower of fire played 
from the tower. Nothing could exceed the • beauty of the 
scene, and it was most kind and amiable of the inhabitants 
to get up this spontaneously.' 

Landing at Dover at mid-day on the 31st, the Queen and 
Prince proceeded at once by the coast line to Portsmouth, 
where, the Queen records, ' Sir George Seymour gave us the 
delightful news that Affie had passed an excellent examina- 
tion, and received his appointment. He had just gone to 
report himself on board the Ewryalua, and would meet us at 
Osborne.' He met the Queen and Prince as they landed at 
the private pier — * in hu middle's jacket, cap, and dirk, half- 
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1858 PRINCE ALFRED. 301 

blushing, and looking very happy. He, is a little pulled 
from these three days' hard examination, which only termi- 
nated to-day. • • . We felt very proud, as it is a particularly 
hard examination/ 

The feeling was justified, for it appears by a letter of the 
Prince's to Baron Stockmar, that the total per-centage of 
clear and complete answers given by Prince Alfred was 
eighty, while fifty would have been considered very good. 
Writing to Lord Derby a few days afterwards on other 
matters, the Prince added : « I send you also Prince Alfred's 
Examination Papers, which may, perhaps, interest you. He 
solved the mathematical problems almost all without fault, 
and did the translations without a dictionary.' In his reply, 
after thanking the Prince for sending him these papers, Lord 
Derby wrote : * As I looked over them, I could not but feel 
very grateful that no such examination was necessary to 
qualify Her Majesty's Ministers for their offices, as it would 
very seriously increase the difficulty of framing an Adminis- 
tration.' 



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302 



CHAPTER LXXXVIII. 

Looking back from the comparative tranquillity of Osborne 
on the crowded pleasant days of the sojourn at Babelsberg, 
they seemed to the Queen and Prince to be already lying in 
some far away distance. But, although the importunate 
claims of daily duty came quickly to take the foremost place 
in their thoughts, still, in the background of their memory, 
lingered 'a store of images and precious thoughts that could 
not die,' and of which they were silently conscious, as laid up 
there to be drawn upon in future hours. Absorbed as the 
Prince was at all times, whether abroad or at home, in the 
hard work of his busy life, this seems to have been his state 
of mind before he had well set foot once more upon English 
ground; for on the 1st of September, the day after his 
arrival at Osborne, he writes to his daughter at Berlin : — 

* . . . There is much truth in the simile of the stone that 
is cast into the water : it makes a great splash, and the waves 
swell out into rings, but the rings widen and widen, flatten 
and flatten, until at last the surface of the water is again 
smooth as a mirror, and as though the stone were not lying 
beneath it ; it remains, however, at the bottom. I know 
not whether the thought is my own, or whether I have 
somewhere read or heard it ; it expresses, however, what I 
feel and have often felt (in connection with the remembrance 
of the days in Babelsberg). Osborne is green and beautiful, 
but the weather cold and stormy. Mama will be much hurt 

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i8$8 DEPARTURE FOR BALMORAL. 303 

when she gets up and finds that I have had a fire lit. I am 
writing to you, you see, in the "golden morning hour ! " 

4 . . . Alfred looks very nice and handsome in his midship- 
man's, or rather, naval cadet's uniform, the round jacket and 
the long-tailed coat with the broad knife by his side.' 

The Boyal children, whose absence on the 26th had been 
so much regretted at Babelsberg, were not to be deprived of 
their accustomed fSte on the Prince's birthday. How it was 
celebrated we learn from a letter on the 3rd of September to 
the Duchess of Kent, who was now at Abergeldie Castle, close 
to Balmoral. *I must write you to-day,' he says, ' just two 
words of thanks for your lovely presents, which came only 
yesterday into my hands at the after-distribution of birthday 
gifts which Victoria contrived and arranged here. • • . The 
children recited their poems, and played their pieces of music, 
and exhibited their works of art and science, all extremely 
good. I have been especially gratified, however, by Alfred's 
success at the severe three days' examination.' 

' It is now settled,' the Prince adds, ' that we go to you on 
Monday. . . . We hope to pass your windows on the 8th. 
I am heartily glad at the thought of our meeting. Till then, 
farewell ! ' 

But before reaching the repose of Balmoral, the Queen 
and Prince were to go through another public reception, 
more hearty and more acceptable, though less magnificent, 
than those with which the previous month had been crowded. 
On the evening of the 6th they reached Leeds, for the purpose 
of opening, on the following day, the very noble Town Hall, 
which the citizens of that great centre of manufactures had 
just completed for themselves. No British Sovereign had 
ever visited Leeds, and from all parts of the country people 
had flocked into the town in such numbers that, by the time 
Her Majesty arrived, the streets were crowded to an extent 

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304 ARRIVAL AT LEEDS. 1858 

never known there before. At the station the Queen and 
Prince, who were accompanied by the Princess Alice and 
Princess Helena, were received by Mr. Peter Fairbaim, the 
Mayor, whom the Queen's Diary describes as ' a perfect picture 
of a fine old man, with dark eyes, snowy hair, and flowing 
beard. He was dressed in crimson velvet robes, with a gold 
chain ; his bearing and manner were excellent, and he looked 
the personification of a Venetian Doge.' Mr. Fairbaim had 
given up his residence, Woodley House, on an eminence over- 
looking the town, for the Queen's use, and thither she drove 
through the densely crowded streets, which, it was remarked, 
were admirably arranged and kept. 

The next day the whole town was astir betimes, and by 
half-past ten the Royal visitors were on their way to the Town 
Hall. 1 * The day,' the Queen writes, € though not very bright, 
was very warm. We made the entire tour of the town, 
which took us more than an hour. Nothing could be 
more enthusiastic than our reception, or better behaved 
than the people.' [It was computed that more than half 
a million of spectators were passed through, and order was 
kept without difficulty by 29,000 volunteers, members of 
the different local societies.] ' The streets were beautifully 
decorated with countless wreaths and festoons of flowers in 
paper, hung from side to side, and along the houses were flags 
innumerable (the Prussian included), and inscriptions, with 
here and there triumphal arches. Nowhere have I seen the 
children's names so often inscribed. On one large arch were 
even in large letters " Beatrice and Leopold," which gave me 
much pleasure — then Vicky's and Fritz's.' 

1 By eight o'clock that morning the Prince was at the local Exhibition of 
Industry. It was in the course of this visit that a remarkable incident oc- 
curred, which the reader will find mentioned in a note (vol. ii. p. 87 ante), 
when, on looking at a complicated wool-combing machine, he pointed out to the 
inventor the absence of an important piece of the machinery, which the in- 
ventor himself had not observed. 



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1858 OPENING OF TOWN HALL. 305 

The Town Hall commanded great admiration. 'Both 
inside and out it is a splendid building,' the Prince notes 
in his Diary. On entering the great Hall, the Queen and 
Prince ascended a dais. A prayer, *a very lengthy and 
tedious one,' it is said, was read by the Bishop of Ripon, 
after which Addresses to the Queen and Prince separately 
were read and responded to. Commanding the Mayor to 
kneel, the Queen conferred upon him the honour of knight- 
hood. Lord Derby then stepped to the front of the dais, 
and, by Her Majesty's command, declared the Hall opened. 
After examining the principal apartments of the building, 
and lunching with the Mayor and Lady Fairbairn, the Royal 
party drove to the station, and resumed their journey to 
Scotland, greatly impressed with the loyal enthusiasm, in 
which Leeds had shown itself not to be behind either Man- 
chester or Birmingham. 

Resting in Edinburgh for the night, the Queen and 
Prince reached Balmoral next day. Never were the deep 
calm of its forest solitudes, and 6 the breath of heaven fresh- 
blowing ' from the mountains, more welcome than after the 
excitement and stir and tropical heat of the scenes in which 
the last few weeks had been passed. 9 Without loss of time 
the Prince resumed his favourite sport of deer-stalking ; and 
on the 14th records that he had shot his first stag, and that 
a fine one. As in the coverts or among the stubbles he pur- 
sued his sport with a vigour which tried the strength of the 

* By the time the Court reached Balmoral Donati's Comet had become a 
nightly object of interest. This year, like 1811, -when the other great comet of 
this century made its appearance, was famous for its great heat and its fine 
vintage. The vague superstition with which the appearance of comets has 
always been connected, that they are omens of political convulsion — ' with fear 
of change perplexing monarchs ' — was found not to have died out. By the 
feverish apprehensions of war which then existed the credulous were pre- 
disposed to the same belief, and they justified it by the war which early in the 
following year robbed Austria of Lombardy, and prepared the way for the ex- 
pulsion of the King of Naples from the throne of the Two Sicilies, and the 
extinction of the Pope's temporal power. 

vol. rv. x 



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3 o6 TREATY OF TIEN-TSIN 1858 

keepers, bo on the hills the stoutest gillies found it hard to 
keep pace with him. In these pursuits the latent fire and 
force of his character could find a vent, which elsewhere were 
of necessity held under rigid restraint. 

On the 20th Colonel Bruce, the future Governor of the 
Prince of Wales, arrived at Balmoral, along with his brother, 
the Hon. Frederick Bruce. Mr. Bruce was Lord Elgin's 
brother, and had acted as his secretary in the mission to 
China. Himself a man of great ability and tact, 3 he had 
been most useful to Lord Elgin in negotiating the terms of 
a Treaty, which, in Lord Elgin's words, had to be wrung from 
persons, who would * yield nothing to reason and everything 
to fear, and who were at the same time ignorant of the sub- 
jects under discussion and of their own real interests.' No 
one was better able to give details of all that had passed in 
accomplishing so far the object of the English and French 
expedition to China. 

The Treaty had been signed at Tien-tsin on the 26th of 
June, the anniversary of the day on which the ratifications 
of the Treaty of Nankin (the violation of which had led to 
the recent war) had been exchanged at Hong Kong, in 1843, 
between Sir Henry Pottinger and Commissioner Keying. 
But it had yet to be rati6ed by the Emperor of China. On 
this subject Lord Elgin was still uneasy when his brother 
left China, as, until the Treaty was ratified, he felt that the 
object of his mission had not been accomplished. Instead, 
however, of waiting in inaction during the period which must 
elapse before a definitive answer could be received from Pekin, 
he had resolved to spend the interval in a visit to Japan, in 

' On the 21st of July Lord Elgin writes in his Diary: — 'In sending 
Frederick away, I hare cut off my right arm ; but I think, on the whole, it was 
better that he should take the Treaty home, and of course he is better able 
than any one else to explain the real state of affairs here. It is impossible to 
acknowledge too strongly the obligation I am under to him for the way in 
which he has helped me in my difficulties.'- Letters and Journals of Lord 
Elgin, p. 258. 



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1858 ENFORCED IN i860. 307 

the hope of negotiating a commercial treaty with that coun- 
try* This hope was realised, and a foundation laid for the 
friendly relations which have since been developed with un- 
usual rapidity between the two countries. It was the end of 
February 1859, some time after the return of Lord Elgin 
to China, before assurances reached him on which he 
thought he could rely, that the Chinese were prepared, in 
pursuance of the Treaty, to receive our Ambassador peacefully 
at Pekin, whenever he should go there for the purpose of 
exchanging the ratifications. Relying on these assurances, 
Lord Elgin returned to England. 

With his departure from China, however, the fear which 
his mission had inspired died away, and it had to be awakened 
with tenfold force, before the promised ratification could be 
obtained. When Mr. Frederick Bruce, who returned to 
China in the spring of 1859 as Her Majesty's Envoy Extra- 
ordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary there, was on his way 
to Pekin to exchange ratifications, he found his way barred 
by armed resistance at the mouth of the Peiho. He tried 
to force a passage, but his attack was repelled with heavy 
loss, and he had to withdraw. 4 Again Lord Elgin and Baron 
Gros returned to China, with a strong expeditionary force, 
and in October 1860 they extorted within the city of Pekin 
fulfilment of the pledge which the Chinese Government had 
so unwisely withheld. 

During this autumn the thoughts of the Queen and Prince 
were much occupied with the arrangements consequent on 
the transfer of the Government of India from the East India 
Company to the Queen. Among other questions, the future 
relations of the Indian Army to the Crown demanded the 

4 In this attack (25th of June, 1859) the casualties among the storming 
party were 252 killed and wounded, and on board the gunboats twenty-five 
were killed and ninety-three wounded. Two gunboats grounded and fell into 
the hands of the Chinese, and another was so damaged by the fire from the 
forts, that she sank at her anchors. 



z 2 



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308 REORGANISATION 1858 

gravest consideration. The view taken by Her Majesty on 
this point was, that the army of her Indian Empire should, 
for the future, be under the same conditions with respect to 
the supreme authority over it as the rest of Her Majesty's 
military forces. The British Army was commanded by the 
Sovereign through the Commander-in-Chief; and to make a 
distinction, which would have the effect of putting the Indian 
Army under a separate command, and in a species of anta- 
gonism to the Imperial Army, would, in Her Majesty's 
opinion, have led to the greatest confusion, and have crippled 
the action of the Government in holding India for the future, 
especially in times of emergency. The evils of separate 
interests and of a divided control, which had made it neces- 
sary to merge the powers of the East India Company in 
the Crown, pointed no less conclusively to the concentration 
in one focus of the controlling and disposing power over the 
army, on which our Indian Empire was thenceforth mainly to 
rest for its stability and protection. 

On the 1st of September the Queen communicated her 
views to Lord Derby in the following letter : — 

4 Understanding that at the Council to-morrow the transfer 
of the Indian Government to the Crown will be officially 
completed, the Queen feels it her duty to express her views 
and wishes with regard to the future position and command 
of the Army in India. On its future organisation the Com- 
mission now sitting will report ; but, from the moment that 
the Government is transferred to the Queen, her constitu- 
tional position as Head of the Army requires that the Com- 
mander-in-Chief should be put in communication with the 
new Secretary of State for India, in the same manner in 
which he is placed with regard to the troops at home, and in 
the Colonies, towards the Secretary of State for War. Eighty 
thousand men, or about one-half of the whole army of 

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1858 OF THE INDIAN ARMY. 309 

England, are in India, and their discipline, order, and 
efficiency cannot be withdrawn from the official cognisance 
and control of the Commander-in-Chief; but, with regard to 
the whole army also, whether English or Indian, there can, 
with due regard for the public interest, be only one head and 
one general command. 

4 The powers of the Secretary of State as conveying the 
commands of the Sovereign are absolute over the Com- 
mander-in-Chief; but the advice of the latter ought to be 
heard on all questions affecting the troops, and he ought to 
be kept officially informed of whatever affects their discipline 
and general efficiency. This in no way interferes with the 
authority of the Governor-General and Commander-in-Chief 
in India on all points connected with the employment and 
maintenance of the army in that country. 9 

Doubts were raised whether, under the recent Government 
of India Bill, the old powers of the Board of Control and of 
the East India Company in respect to the local Indian army 
were not now vested in the Indian Council, and the authority 
of the Commander-in-Chief limited to what it had been 
before the passing of that Act. Those who held this view 
went so far as to maintain that, although by that Act the 
East India Company's forces, military and naval, were 
thenceforth to be forces of Her Majesty, they were to be 
exempt from the conditions which attached to those forces 
in every other part of Her Majesty's dominions. If such 
was the strict legal construction of the Act, it could scarcely 
have been the intention of its framers, for they could never 
have wished to establish a divided control and responsibility 
in just that part of the Imperial dominions where of all 
others complete unity of counsel and of action was most 
essential. 

Some members of the Indian Council took the view, as * 



310 REORGANISATION 1858 

might be expected, most favourable to their own power and 
patronage, and embodied it in an elaborate Memorandum, 
submitted to the Queen, in which the expediency was main- 
tained of leaving the Indian Council to act upon ' the long- 
established rules ' of their predecessors at the India House. 
The issues at stake were felt by the Queen and Prince to be 
of Imperial importance, and their views in answer to this 
document were accordingly embodied by the Prince in the 
following Memorandum : — 

4 Balmoral, 16th October, 1858. 

* The appeal in favour of " long-established rules " would 
have come with more effect if the years 1857 and 1858 had 
not given us melancholy proof of the result of the system 
on which the local Indian army had been governed by the 
East India Company. 

4 Instead of the proper " chain of responsibility " which is 
claimed for the system, it would seem more correct to 
characterize the system as one of perpetual counteraction 
and conflicting authorities. 

4 Can anything be more monstrous, for instance, in a 
military point of view, than the relative positions of the 
Commander-in-Chief for India, the Commanders-in-Chief for 
Madras and Bombay; that the latter should be perfectly 
independent of the former in their respective Presidencies as 
regards the Company's, or local, forces, but subordinate to 
him as regards those of Her Majesty ? And that the former, 
in the event of military operations near the frontiers of the 
different Presidencies, should be absolutely powerless to 
combine his operations, as far as the co-operation of local 
troops is concerned, beyond the limits of Bengal, without the 
concurrence, previously obtained, of the Governor in Council 
and Commanders-in-Chief of the subordinate Presidency? 
Such an arrangement seems only to equal, in injury to the 



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1858 OF THE INDIAN ARMY. 311 

public service, those under which rates of pay, conditions of 
service, respect to caste, and the military system generally, 
as regards the Native troops, have varied in the different 
Presidencies, 

'The great principles on which the efficiency of the 
military force in any country, and under any circumstances, 
must depend, are, simplicity, unity, am>d steadiness of 
system, and unity of command. 

c We have hitherto had in India, not only a different system 
for each Presidency, and independent, or nearly independent 
command in each, but in each of these three independent 
armies, four independent kinds of force — the Queen's Euro- 
pean, the Company's European, the regular Native, and the 
irregular Native armies! Under this state of things the 
result has been the mutiny of the whole of the Native army in 
one Presidency, and a state of discipline in the local European 
troops characterized as disgraceful by some of the most com- 
petent judges on the spot, and nothing but jealousy and 
animosity between the different services. 

' The Queen's troops have alone, after being some years in 
the country, preserved an efficient discipline — and over them 
the authority of the Commander-in-Chief extended through- 
out India — while he was controlled by the Commander-in- 
Chief at home, acting under the immediate authority of the 
Crown. 

c Here is the true u chain of responsibility," and it has to be 
shown that inconvenience has arisen to the service in India 
from that chain of responsibility, as regards the discipline 
and efficiency of the troops, being thus preserved in the 
legitimate and constitutional line, traced back to the Sove- 
reign. Has the Governor-General or Indian Commander-in- 
Chief been less free to move and employ Her Majesty's troops, 
as the exigencies of the Indian service required, than those of 
the East India Company ? — or have they been found wanting 



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312 MEMORANDUM BY THE PRINCE. 1858 

at any time when the others have broken down ? The events 
of the last two years, during which the sole dependence has 
been upon Her Majesty's troops, is the answer to these 
questions. 

4 The course, then, prescribed by common sense, in con- 
sidering the future organisation of an army in India, would 
appear to be : To abandon " the long-established rules," which, 
in the case of the Native troops, have resulted in universal 
mutiny throughout Bengal, and, in that of the Company's 
European troops, in indiscipline and shortness of number* 
(for amongst other faults of the old system is that of never 
having been able to keep the European forces of the Company 
nearly up to their establishment), and to adopt that system 
which has been most successful hitherto in maintaining an 
efficient force, that, namely, under which Her Majesty's regular 
forces have been governed.' 

The very important issue discussed in this Memorandum 
continued for a considerable time to engage the attention of 
the Government and the Indian Council. In the end, the 
views advocated by the Prince were found to be conBrmed 
by Lord Clyde, Sir William Mansfield, and other officers of 
the highest experience. But it was not till 1 860 that the 
question was set at rest by a measure (23 & 24 Vict. cap. 100) 
which provided that the whole of the European forces employed 
in India should form part of the Queen's army, disposable for 
general service. The measure was vigorously opposed, but 
carried in the House of Commons by an overwhelming ma- 
jority. In the House of Lords, Lord Clyde spoke strongly in its 
support, as the only means of securing that unity in command 
and in discipline, which was indispensable to the efficiency of 
the local army of India, and the want of which had been pro- 
ductive of great inconvenience and danger. 

In the outset of the discussion of this important question 

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1858 GENERAL PEEL. 313 

the Queen and Prince had the satisfaction of finding their 
opinions supported by General Peel, who was with them at 
Balmoral for some, weeks, as the Cabinet Minister in attend- 
ance on Her Majesty. On the 5th of October, the Prince 
writes of him to Baron Stockmar : — 

c . . . We find the greatest satisfaction in having with us 
General Peel, who is now here as Secretary of State. His 
likeness to his deceased brother in manner, in his way of 
thinking, and in patriotic feeling, is quite touching ; he is a 
pearl in the Ministry, for he is fearless, and holds the service 
of the Crown to be Ms first duty. He stands by us in our 
difficulties with regard to the organisation of the Indian 
Army, which the Indian Council are seeking to withdraw from 
the authority of the Crown, and to deal with as their own 
property.' 

The tenacity with which the Prince clung to principles 
in aH matters of importance, social or political, did not blind 
him to the unwisdom of fettering the judgment by plans or 
resolutions in anticipation of events which may never arrive, 
by which many people create profitless hopes, and fears, and 
disappointments for themselves. In a letter to his daughter 
at Berlin, written at this time, some valuable remarks on this 
subject occur : — 

4 Balmoral, 28th September, 1858. 

* " Excited or irritable nerves " is the courtly phrase that 
is used in speaking of ladies, but this, as likely as not, is a 
mere blind to cover the want of self-control in all sorts of 
ways. 

4 . • . For , who lives much in the past and future, 

perhaps more than in the present, it is a spiritual necessity 
to cleave to moments that are flown, and to recollections, 
and to form plans for the future, and to seek to give them 



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3H APPREHENSIONS OF WAR 1858 

permanence and stability. This carries her of course into 
the realm of hopes and apprehensions. 

4 1 am quite of your opinion, that true* worldly prudence 
enjoins us to make no settled plans, but at the given moment 
to adopt the course, which may appear to feeling and to 
reason to be the most appropriate, and that, by so acting, 
the most disappointments will be avoided, and the greatest 
peace of mind maintained. 9 

Meanwhile the greatest uneasiness prevailed in the diplo- 
matic world as to the imminence of war in Europe. The 
great increase by the French Emperor of his forces, as well 
by land as at sea, was well calculated to foment this uneasi- 
ness. It was hard to credit his assurances that this costly 
operation had no other object but to bring up the armaments 
of France to a level proportioned to the necessities of her posi- 
tion in Europe. From no quarter was France threatened. 
England, Germany, Austria desired nothing so much as 
peace, and Bussia was known to be cultivating the most 
cordial relations with her recent foe. Against whom, then, 
were these formidable preparations being made ? Those who 
knew the Emperor best were well assured that he had no 
hostile intentions towards England ; but they were no less 
convinced that he was intent upon making some movement 
towards compelling that readjustment of the map of Europe 
by which his mind was fatally preoccupied. The chances all 
were that Italy would, in the first instance, be the theatre of 
his operations, and that success there would be made the step- 
ping-stone for that coveted enlargement of the frontiers of 
France towards the Bhine, which had been inculcated upon 
the minds of her people by successive statesmen and historians 
as essential to the greatness and security of the kingdom. 

Indeed, the Emperor made no secret that he looked to the 
expulsion of the Austrians from Italy as an event which he 

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1858 , IN EUROPE. 315 

was prepared to accelerate. A campaign with that object was 
an operation much safer than any attempt upon England ; 
and, with such a campaign in view, to keep on the best terms 
with England was obviously his best policy. The principal 
governments of the Italian peninsula had so completely for- 
feited every claim to sympathy and respect by their persistent 
adherence to every vice of the most obsolete despotisms, that 
English popular feeling was pretty sure to go with any one 
who should assist in overturning a state of things which had 
long been a scandal in Europe. The prevalence of this feeling 
was in itself a gain not unimportant for the Emperor's de- 
signs; for it blinded the eyes of many to the danger to 
European peace of sanctioning the principle of interference 
by one European Power to upset the government or annex 
the territory of another. That principle once acted on, who 
could say where the innovation would stop, or for what other 
rearrangement of boundaries it would not be used as a prece- 
dent? 

The reports from our Ambassador at Paris at this time 
all confirmed the idea that in the meantime at lea«t England 
had no reason to apprehend any attack. Never had the 
Emperor seemed to be more firmly attached to the English 
alliance, or more vexed at the difficulty of maintaining a 
friendly feeling towards England in France, in the face of 
the violent language of a large portion of the English press, 
— language, which he told Lord Cowley he feared might 
4 one day render a continuation of the alliance impossible.' 
In the same interview the Emperor gave the following ac- 
count of his European policy, which, read by the light of 
subsequent events, is not without interest : — 

' I am told,' he said, ' that my policy is tortuous, but I 
am not understood. I am blamed for coquetting with 
Austria one day and with Russia the next, and it is inferred, 

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316 THE EMPEROR NAPOLEON III. 1858 

therefore, that I am not to be depended upon. But my 
policy is very simple. When I came to my present position, I 
saw that France wanted peace, and I determined to maintain 
peace, and to uphold the Treaties of 1815, so long as France 
was respected and held her own in the councils of Europe. 
But I was equally resolved, if I was forced into war, not to 
make peace until a better equilibrium was secured to Europe. 
I have no ambitious views like the first Emperor, but if 
other countries gain anything, France must gain some- 
thing also. Well! when driven into war with Kussia, I 
thought that no peace would be satisfactory which did not 
resuscitate Poland, and I humoured Austria in the hope 
that she would assist me in this great work. She failed me, 
and after peace was made, I looked to the amelioration of 
Italy, and therefore drew more closely to Kussia. This is 
the whole secret of my policy.' 

In answer to a question from Lord Cowley, the Emperor 
acknowledged that Russia had ' not exactly ' given him 
reason to hope for her assistance in his benevolent intentions 
towards Italy, but added, that * much would depend on 
favourable circumstances.' As the event proved, Kussia was 
quite content to stand quietly by, during the struggle that 
soon afterwards arose in Lombardy. By doing so, she was 
able to gratify her vindictive feeling against Austria for the 
part that country had played during the Crimean War. But 
while well pleased that her old ally should be made to feel 
how much he lost in losing her support, she was equally 
determined to avoid committing herself either to any general 
measures for the erection of an Italian Kingdom, or to the 
ulterior designs of the French Emperor upon the Rhenish 
provinces. 

While the French Emperor's eyes were for the moment 
intently fixed upon Italy, events were taking place in 

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1858 MOVEMENT IN GERMANY. 317 

Prussia, which were to give a new aspect, and one little to 
his satisfaction, to the slumbering question of German unity, 
and to the resistance with which any attempt upon the part 
of France to work upon the outlying weaker States of the 
German Bund was likely to be met. The King of Prussia's 
health had utterly broken down, and his mind with it— that 
mind, once so full of noble enthusiasms, so brilliant with in- 
telligence, but yet so lacking in sound judgment and mascu- 
line firmness. 5 The Government, which for years had been 
in the hands of the extreme reactionary party, was at a dead- 
lock, and the Prince of Prussia found the position which he 
had for many months occupied as Lieutenant (SteUvertreter) 
of the King intolerable, being, as he was, practically 
powerless, while associated with a Ministry in whose prin- 
ciples and policy he was unable to concur. The Prince's 
appointment as Lieutenant was about to expire on the 24th 
of October, and he had informed the Council of Ministers, 
that except as Kegent, with full powers, he declined to 
continue to act for the future. The quiet determination with 
which he maintained his position bore down the resistance 
of those who were interested in maintaining the existing un- 
satisfactory state of things, and his appointment as Regent 
was signed by the King upon the 8th of October. The 
next day he assumed the office, and issued a series of orders 

* Into what a state the King's mind had fallen maybe judged from the following 
incident mentioned in a letter written from Berlin in September to Lord Malmes- 
bury : — ' The King saw old Humboldt the other day for the first time. The con- 
vernation turned upon his birthday, and Humboldt said, that on that occasion 
he had gone to Tegel to see his family, taking Stockmar with him. " Stock- 
mar!" said the King, " who is he?" The Queen and Humboldt both ex- 
plained, and by recalling circumstances of former days tried to make him 
understand. This, however, was unsuccessful, and they therefore had recourse 
to the grand moyen of writing the name down ; but this was useless, the King 
persisting he never had heard his name. Yet there are people who wish him 
■till to govern !' To appreciate the force of the remark, it must be remem- 
bered, that again and again the most confidential communications had passed 
between Baron Stockmar and the King. 



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318 PRINCE OF PRUSSIA BECOMES REGENT. 1853 

in the official journal, indicating a policy in which the Con- 
stitution would be respected, and measures of useful reform 
promoted to meet the wants of the time. The two Chambers 
were convoked for the 26th of October. When they met, the 
necessity for the Kegency was voted by acclamation, and 
amid general enthusiasm the Prince took the oaths required 
by the Constitution in the Weisser Saal of the Palace before 
the members of both the Chambers. 

The tidings of the Prince of Prussia's appointment were 
hailed with great satisfaction by the Prince Consort, who 
was well aware of the unsatisfactory position which he had 
occupied as Lieutenant, and also looked forward to the substi- 
tution by the Eegent of a liberal policy for the reactionary 
system under which the country had long been suffering. 
To Baron Stockmar, who shared his views on this subject, 6 he 
wrote from Balmoral on the 12th of October : — 

4 The Eegency seems now to have been secured for the 
Prince. We have only news of this at present by telegrams 
from our children, but are greatly delighted at this first step 
towards the reduction to order of a miserable chaos. 

4 Will the Prince have the courage to surround himself 
with honourable and patriotic men ? That is the question, 
and what shape will the new Chamber take, and what will 
its influence on him be ? ' 

9 The presence of Baron Stockmar in Berlin during the Queen's recent visit, 
although it was due solely to the desire to meet the Queen and Prince Consort, 
was viewed with rancorous suspicion by the aristocratic party, who held in 
abhorrence the man whom they knew to be the great advocate for the estab- 
lishment of Constitutional Government in Germany. He was even accused of 
actively intriguing for the downfall of the Manteuffel Administration, having, 
it was said, ' brought in his pocket all cut and dry from England the ministry 
of the new era.' Stockmar's views of what was needful to raise Germany to 
her proper place among the nations were unchanged, his hopes from the call of 
the Prince Regent to power were probably great ; but age and infirmity had 
for some time made a mere looker-on of one who had never cared to take an 
active part in the warfare of political life, and who always detested political 
intrigue. 



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1858 LETTER BY PRINCE CONSORT 319 

In the same letter the Prince adverts to a suspicion which 
had for some time got hold of the mind of the Emperor of 
the French, that some of the European Powers were form- 
ing counterplots to his combinations, on which his restless 
and vacillating mind was perpetually brooding : — 

4 The idea,' the Prince writes, 'that Uncle Leopold is at work 
upon an alliance between England, Prussia, and Austria, against 
him has for a long time taken entire possession of Louis Napo- 
leon's mind, and originates no doubt in the feeling, that, if he 
prosecutes an alliance with Russia, this dreaded combination 
would be formed from an instinct of self-defence and might 
more than counterpoise the Russian alliance. We are, in fact, 
on a more friendly footing with Austria than we have been 
for a long time, simply from the fact, that the latter, in the 
consciousness of her own weakness, shut up as she is between 
the hostile powers of France and Eussia, feels the necessity 
for attaching herself to England, and for sacrificing to that 
object some harmless prejudices. 

4 We had the Count and Countess de Persigny here for 
four days. He is still the only true soul the Emperor has, 
but speaks with great frankness of his master, whose faults 
make him extremely unhappy, and with whom the party now 
in power denigrate him daily. 

4 Philip of Flanders, who was here for ten days, but un- 
luckily brought down only two stags, pleases me more and 
more every time I see him/ 

To the Prince of Prussia himself the Prince Consort 
wrote a few days afterwards (18th October): — 

4 My dear Cousin, — I know you have at this moment more 
than usual to do, and ought not to be pestered with letters. 
But I cannot refrain from wishing you, in just a couple of 
lines, joy with all my heart at the complete solution of 
the Eegency question. The purely negative position which 

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320 PRINCE REGENT OF PRUSSIA. 1858 

you took up proved sufficient, as I always expected it 
would do, to bring about this solution, in accordance at once 
with your own wishes, with the letter of the law, and with 
the country's choice. Not the less, however, do I feel bound to 
acknowledge with admiration the exemplary behaviour of 
the Prussian people, showing, as it did, sympathy with the 
melancholy condition of their Sovereign, attachment to his 
house, firm confidence in yourself, and, as a consequence of 
these things, great composure in bearing with the frequently 
arbitrary measures, which they felt to be hostile to their 
most sacred interests. God grant you may succeed, despite the 
many personal difficulties by which you will be beset, in 
proving yourself true to the confidence shown you. . • .' 

It was obvious that the earliest act of the Prince of 
Prussia would be the formation of a new Ministry. While 
this question was still in suspense, the Prince, who had re- 
turned with the Queen from Scotland on the 20th, wrote to 
Baron Stockmar: — 

4 The Prince has got well over the first stage of his task, and 
we may thank God that the Regency has been administered 
upon the whole in a dignified and constitutional way. Now 
comes the most ticklish point of all — the choice of a Ministry. 
If he shall succeed in getting or selecting capable people, his 
government, by its apparent quiet strength, its justice, equity 
and simplicity, will be productive of the highest benefit to 
the country. If the reverse prove to be the case, both the 
country and himself have an anxious future before them. 

'The day after to-morrow I take Alfred to his ship at 
Spithead. That same evening he goes to sea. His departure 
will be another great trial for us. The second child lost to 
our family circle in one year. . . . 7 

4 Windsor Castle, 25th October, 1858.' 

f The Euryalus, to which Prince Alfred was attached, was destined lor the 

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1858 NEW PRUSSIAN MINISTRY. 321 

The Manteuffei Ministry did not avail themselves of the 
opportunity which the Prince of Prussia considerately gave 
them of retiring from office, in which it was obviously impos- 
sible he should wish them to continue. They even intimated 
to him that in duty to the country and to himself they felt 
bound not to resign. The Prince's answer was conveyed in 
the official announcement that he had summoned the Prince 
of Hohenzollern to Berlin, and charged him with the formation 
of a Ministry. By the 6th of November the arrangements 
were concluded. The Prince of Hohenzollern became the 
head of the Ministry without a portfolio. Baron Schleinitz 
as Foreign Minister, Herr Flottwell, as Minister of the In- 
terior, Bethmann-Hollweg, as Minister of Public Instruction, 
Auerswald, as Minister of State, gave a strong guarantee for 
the infusion of a sounder and more liberal spirit into the 
future government of the country, while the appointment 
as Minister of War of General Bonin, who had made him- 
self obnoxious to the late Government by his anti-Russian 
policy, was hailed as an indication that the foreign policy of 
the country would no longer be unduly controlled by influence 
from St. Petersburg. These appointments seem to have 
given great satisfaction to the Prince Consort, which he lost 
no time in expressing to the Prince of Prussia in the following 
letter : — 

'Windsor Castle, 9th November, 1858. 

* Let me from my heart of hearts wish you joy of the 
brilliant solution of the second part of your great and diffi- 
cult task. Your Ministry is, indeed, one of honourable men ; 
it will command respect both abroad and at home, and you 
will, and rightly, be applauded for the calm and resolute 
way, in which you have managed to effect what justice and 

Mediterranean station, where the frigate was to remain for the next two years. 
The Prince Consort and the Prince of Wales accompanied the young sailor to Spit- 
head, and saw his vessel bearing away on her course before they left him. 

VOL. IV. T 



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322 LETTERS BY THE PRINCE 1858 

the best interests of your country seemed to you to enjoin. 
You will have had to encounter hostility from without, 
as well as struggles within your own soul, and I can quite 
understand how much the conflict must have cost you. Still, 
at the same time, in your own convictions you doubtless 
found much to cheer and strengthen you, and the growth in 
self-reliance, of which you speak to me as the result of the 
success that has attended the line you took up in the affair of 
the Regency, cannot fail to be further augmented by this 
second success. 

' Prince Hohenzollern has acted nobly and patriotically in 
undertaking the post of President of the Ministry, and you 
will have a true, a staunch, and active friend in him. 

' I ought not to tease you just now with family trifles, still 
I frill let you know that Bertie, who to-day solemnises his 
eighteenth birthday, proposes to pay a fortnight's visit to 
his sister, and asks leave to present himself to you. It will 
not be a State but purely a family visit, and we, therefore, beg 
you only to show him such slender courtesies as are suitable to 
a member, and a very yo\mg one, of the family. To-day he 
becomes a Colonel in the Army (unattached), and will receive 
the Garter. Colonel Bruce, Lord Elgin's brother, has be- 
come his governor. Mr. Gibbs retires to-morrow.' 

During the Ministerial crisis, Baron Stockmar was still in 
Berlin, where the Queen and Prince had anticipated that he 
would remain until the confinement of the Crown Princess, 
and be to her and her husband the same wise and in- 
valuable friend, which he had been to themselves in similar 
circumstances. But he had been unexpectedly called away 
to Coburg, and one of his now frequent attacks of illness made 
it impossible for him to return to Berlin, which he had hoped 
to do. On the 18th the Prince wrote to him : — 

* I am very sorry to have to send this letter to Coburg. 

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1858 TO BARON STOCKMAR. 323 

After what Uncle Leopold wrote, and as you gave us no 
intimation of your intention to leave Berlin, we had hoped 
that you would have stayed on there to the critical moment. 
Vicky will miss you terribly, and she is now every day more 
and more in want of counsel and assistance. Let me hope 
your absence is only for a short time, and that the cold will 
abate and so facilitate your return to Berlin. The railway, 
which is now to be opened to Coburg, will sound an invitation 
thither with its whistle under your windows. 

' What an excellent turn all political matters have taken 
in Berlin I Indeed one cannot sufficiently praise the Prince ! 
I am much gratified by his inviting his son to the delibera- 
tions in Council. 

4 ... I am but so-so — much troubled with sleeplessness 
and with my stomach. We are terribly worried, moreover, 
with our new Indian government. . . . 

4 Bertie starts the day after to-morrow with Colonel Bruce 
and Major Teesdale. and hopes to be with his sister on her 
birthday.' 

In his reply (20th November) Baron Stockmar was able to 
give the Prince many important details as to the recent 
changes in Berlin. Of the Prince Eegent himself, he spoke 
in warm terms. ' On this visit,' he wrote, ' I have had an 
opportunity of gaining a clearer insight into his nature, and 
found, that he deserves much more regard, esteem, and con- 
fidence, than the majority of the people about him have given 
him. ... On one occasion, when he expounded to me his 
views as to the policy of Prussia in regard to a neighbouring 
State, I found them so sound, so simple, so sincere and honour- 
able, that I kissed his hand.' 

From the Prince Eegent himself came a letter, in which 
he enclosed for the Prince a copy, signed by himself, of his 
address to his new Ministry on meeting them in Council 

t 2 

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324 LETTER BY THE PRINCE 1858 

for the first time. It contained a clear and manly statement 
of his policy, both domestic and foreign, which the Prince 
Consort manifestly regarded as auguring well for the future 
of Germany, and, indeed, of Europe. In reply he wrote : — 

'Windsor Castle, 26th November, 1858. 

« My dear Cousin, — I can no longer delay answering your 
welcome letter of the 18th current. You have given me 
a great pleasure by sending me your address to the new 
Ministry; for its language is so high-minded, manly, just, 
and liberal, that it did my heart good. The position you 
have taken up in home and in foreign, in secular and in 
ecclesiastical, in Prussian and in German politics, seems to 
me thoroughly sound, and it gives assurance of a happy 
future for Prussia and yourself. Neither do I think you 
need fear being driven into another line of action against 
your better judgment. The course the elections have taken 
proves tolerably clearly, that the party of orderly progress 
and of natural development has nothing in common with the 
Democrats, and that it is upon that party the bulk of the 
people rely, and that they will have nothing to do with 
the others. 

4 What especially pleases me is the prospect of seeing, for 
the future, among the Five Powers, a Continental Power 
that will take its stand simply and solely upon the domain 
of justice and equity, and will thus become a corrective 
element of the highest importance in the great Continental 
policy of intrigue. . . . ' 

The Prince then refers to the trial, concluded a day or two 
before, of Count de Montalembert, at the instance of the 
French Government, for exciting hatred and contempt of 
the Government by an article published by him some time 
before in the Corre&pondant, entitled the Dibat sur PInde 
au Parlemmt Anglais. 

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1858 TO THE PRINCE REGENT OF PRUSSIA. 325 

'What an egregious blunder Louis Napoleon has com- 
mitted in the prosecution of Montalembert ! His Essay was, 
no doubt, embarrassing, but in a French Review it would have 
been read by only a few literary men, holding the same opinions 
as the writer, whereas now it will be spread all over the world. 
Hostile it no doubt is to the present regime in France, but 
it is full of truth, and a masterpiece of eloquence and know- 
ledge of men and statesmanship. The sentence has produced 
the worst possible impression here, and the furious onslaughts 
which the whole press are now making on our neighbour 
will naturally create very bad blood there.' 8 

The task of the Prince Segent was no easy one, to steer 
the vessel of the State between the angry jealousies of the 
aristocratic party on the one hand and the violent demands 
of the Democrats, exasperated by a long period of disappoint- 
ment and repression, on the other. In his address to the 
new Ministry above referred to, he had put strongly forward 
as his guiding principle, that there can be no just conflict of 
interests between Sovereign and subjects, and he had proved 
his faith in the nation by insisting that the elections for the 
Chambers should not be in any way interfered with by his 
Ministry. 

Some months before (4th May, 1858) the Prince Consort 
had written to impress upon him the importance of using 

8 The sentence condemned Count de Montalembert to six months' imprison- 
ment and a fine of 3,000 francs, and the publisher of the Correspondent to a, month's 
imprisonment and a fine of 1,000 francs* Never was the un wisdom of a press pro- 
secution more conspicuous than in this case. Besides calling attention to Coun£ 
de Montalembert's eloquent contrast of the English with the French Government, 
it gave an opportunity to his counsel, M. Berryer, in one of his greatest speeches, 
to bring all the force of his rhetoric and sarcasm to bear upon the vices of the 
Imperial system. The Count appealed against the sentence to the Superior 
Courts. On the 2nd of December the Moniteur announced that the Emperor 
had remitted the penalty ; but the next day Count de Montalembert, in a letter 
to the same paper, repudiated the act of grace and declared that he adhered 
to his appeal. Accordingly the appeal proceeded, and the sentence was con- 
firmed ; but was finally remitted on the 21st of December. 



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326 ' RESULTS OF ELECTIONS IN PRUSSIA. 1858 

whatever power he had to prevent anything like interference 
with the free expression of the mind of the nation in the 
coming elections. ' The way,' the Prince wrote, * the Man- 
teuffel Ministry abused their influence at the last election 
roused in the minds of all patriotic and thinking men a feeling 
of disgust so deep and well founded, that you are not only 
justified, but bound, as a sacred duty, to forbid and to prevent 
any repetition of these shameful proceedings under the sanction 
of your name. That people will try to make political capital 
of the popularity of your name is, of course, to be expected. 
But to prevent this, and to restore to the people the un- 
restricted exercise of the political right which the King 
solemnly assured to them by the Constitution will be an 
office replete with blessings to yourself and to Prussia. How 
far it is possible for you, standing alone as you unhappily do, 
to exercise the control over the Government which they will 
require, I am unable at this distance to form an opinion. 
But a firm exercise of the will on your part will probably be 
sufficient." 

As Regent, the Prince of Prussia waa able to exercise this 
control, which as Lieutenant he might have failed in doing, 
and the result of the elections showed that he lost nothing 
by acting as the Prince Consort had suggested. The clerical 
and military party naturally used all their influence to defeat 
the Liberal candidates. But so signal was their failure, that 
out of the whole 350 members returned, not more than 
seventy belonged to the party of reaction. The voice of the 
country, for the first time since Prussia had possessed a 
parliament, was allowed to be heard, and a Chamber was 
brought together which represented the country, and was 
not merely, as heretofore, a convenient tool for the purposes 
of an Administration by whom it had been packed. 

These results were naturally regarded by the Prince Con- 
sort with the liveliest satisfaction. When the Prince of 

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1858 LETTER TO PRINCE REGENT OF PRUSSIA. 327 

Wales came back from Berlin, he brought with him a letter 
from the Prince Begent to the Prince Consort, profuse in 
grateful acknowledgments for his two letters above quoted. 
In this letter, after speaking of the excellent impression 
which the Prince of Wales had produced in Berlin by his 
tact and unaffected courtesy — ' all that a parent's heart could 
desire,' the Prince Begent entered into a statement of the 
difficulties of his position, which invited from the Prince 
Consort in return a frank expression of his opinions on the 
situation* Accordingly he wrote in reply as follows : — 

1 Windsor Castle, 22nd December, 1858. 

4 My dear Cousin, — Accept my most hearty thanks for the 
kind letter which Bertie brought me. He has come back 
very well, and very greatly pleased with his visit to Berlin ; 
I need scarcely add, very grateful also for all the kindness 
and generosity shown him. Our parental hearts are not less 
full of acknowledgment ; and I ask leave to express to you 
our special gratitude for the Order of the Black Eagle 
conferred upon Bertie, of which we trust he will at all times 
prove himself not unworthy. 

' I am delighted that you have in your letter given me an 
opportunity of casting a glance over the new phase of your 
political position. Assuredly the coming Session will not be 
an easy one, seeing that after a long period of repression a 
vent has been suddenly given to the free voices of the 
people. Meanwhile, looking at the matter broadly — taking 
this repression, and this sudden emancipation from it, into 
account — I cannot but admire the power of self-command 
which the nation has hitherto shown. If some extravagant 
demands or even absurdities should crop up in the new Diet, 
this, I hope, will neither alienate nor alarm you, nor lead 
you to adopt a hostile attitude in defence. In any case it is 
a free assembly of several hundred men, who will represent 



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328 LETTER BY THE PRINCE i8$S 

as nearly as may be those interests and feelings of the most 
diverse kinds, which form the motive springs of the king- 
dom as a whole. It is in this diversity of interests and 
feelings, and in their mutual action one upon another, that 
the life and well-being of the community and the State lie, 
and from it spring, as in the organic world, vital power and 
the capacity of growth. The Regent's position is that of 
moderator, and your readiness to use it everywhere with 
firmness will be of essential service to the general weal. 

' There will not be wanting some who, if this political life 
should become too animated, may find a malicious pleasure in 
pointing to this circumstance as a proof that the measures of re- 
pression formerly practised, and often illegally, by themselves, 
were not so bad after all, and that you are now reaping the 
fruits of your own presunjption. Nevertheless, this would be 
about as wise as to chuckle,with satisfaction because a horse is 
restive, and its restiveness is troublesome to its rider, and at the 
same time to recommend him, instead of mounting his steed 
in knightly fashion, to remain sitting on a hobby-horse of 
wood. To set down people of this stamp you will want 
neither justification nor excuse ; for you have only fulfilled 
your duty as a subject, as a prince, and as a man of honour. 
The Constitution, to which you have sworn your allegiance, 
was not granted by you, but it is derived directly from those 
who will perhaps make it a matter of reproach to you that 
you have carried it out. Neither was it granted in haste, 
but as a retrograde step from the recoil which succeeded the 
outrageous outbreak of 1848, which outbreak again was 
directly caused by the King going back from his previous 
promises and assurances ; and if we would trace to its source 
the sound principle — nay, the duty, which is your rule of 
action — we have only to remember the sacred promises 
which the Prussian Crown made to its people, when it 
summoned them to the struggle for freedom against the 

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1858 TO THE PRINCE REGENT OF PRUSSIA. 329 

French oppressor, and of which it made renewed professions 
when peace had been secured. No man capable of taking a 
clear survey of the past will see a Jacobin in you, or can fail 
to wish that your moderating influence, wherever brought 
into play, may never, by the way it is exercised, give 
occasion to your enemies to shake the nation's confidence 
in you, and so to make it apprehensive of fresh retrograde 
movements* For when in the fulfilment of a duty an im- 
pulse has heeq given to millions of men, the task of keeping 
this impulse always well under control is one of extreme 
difficulty, and one to .the accomplishment of which this 
confidence is above all things necessary. 

4 Pardon this long dissertation. The importance of the 
subject and my regard for yourself, and not my love of 
talking, are to blame for it. . . . In true friendship, 

* Albert.' 

These letters were shown ,to Lord Malmeebury by the Prince, 
as indeed all letters received by the Queen and Prince from 
foreign potentates and all answers to them were shown to the 
Foreign Secretary or to the Prime Minister for the time. So 
also was one to the Prince from the Prince of Hohenzollern, 
which was especially welcome, to use the words of Lord 
Malmesbury in returning the letter to the Prince (17th 
December), as it ' relieved him from some apprehension as 
to the want of confidence in their own acts which he feared 
existed in the minds of , the Eegent and his Government.' 

• 1 was aware/ he added, * that every means were employed to 
alarm them as to the consequences of their boldness, and that at 
moments they were inclined to doubt their own judgment. In 
my opinion nothing would be more fatal to Germany than the 
appearance of a reaction, and that a mere change of personnel 
had taken place. There would not be a Prince left on whom 
the people would look with .confidence that he would keep his 
word/ 

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330 CHANGE OF POLICY AT BERLIN. 1858 

The change which had taken place in Berlin quickly showed 
itself in a disposition there to co-operate with England in 
regard to matters of European policy. Whatever differences 
of opinion as to these might arise, it was obvious that they 
were now more likely to admit of friendly adjustment than 
before, when the views of the Berlin Cabinet were either 
dictated or controlled by another Power, 



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33i 



CHAPTER LXXXIX. 

Thb prosecution of Count de Montalembert was not the only 
mistake committed this autumn by the French* Government. 
That was bad enough. Still it concerned France more than 
the rest of Europe, that her Government should enter upon 
the futile course of attempting to suppress the legitimate 
expression of opinion, which is the life of a nation. But the 
attitude which the same Government adopted in the month of 
October of this year, towards the Kingdom of Portugal, was 
of a character to excite the distrust of every State in Europe. 
Early in the year a French vessel, the Charles et Oeorges, 
had been seized at Mozambique by the Portuguese autho 
rities, while engaged in a traffic in slaves from the Portuguese 
African possessions. After the vessel had been condemned 
by the Portuguese local tribunal, and pending an appeal to 
the Superior Court at Lisbon, a demand was made by the 
French Government for the surrender of the vessel, and for 
payment of an indemnity for her detention, with threats of 
force in case of non-compliance, which were backed by the 
appearance of a French squadron in the Tagus. This high- 
handed measure, taken in defiance of all international law, 
inspired a general feeling of alarm, that France, under the 
Second Empire, was about to resume the domineering policy 
which had kept Europe in perpetual turmoil during the First. 
The coercion of a weak State, like Portugal, was peculiarly 
obnoxious to this country, as that weak State was an old and 
favoured ally, and had special claims on England for assistance. 

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332 AFFAIR OF THE < CHARLES AND GEORGES.' 1858 

Naturally therefore a strong feeling of sympathy was aroused 
on this side of the Channel, and fresh fuel was ministered 
to the distrust of the French Emperor's designs towards 
England, which those — and they were not a few — who de- 
precated the closeness of our relations with his Government, 
were not backward in fomenting. 

Writing to Baron Stockmar on the 25th of October, soon 
after the Portuguese Government had appealed to England 
to interpose her friendly offices in the settlement of the dis- 
pute, the Prince said : — 

' In foreign politics the old Napoleonic method is being in- 
sisted on with Portugal, and all justice is being trodden under 
foot in re Chwrles et Georges — an indication that France will 
not employ her growing power at sea for the advantage of 
the world.' 

Indignation was general .when it became known that France 
had peremptorily refused to submit the dispute to the 
mediation of Holland upon, the question of right, and that, 
yielding to the pressure of superior force^ Portugal had had no 
alternative but to comply under protest with the demands of 
France. The position was an extremely critical one. On the 
one hand the French Emperor, who had been instigated by his 
advisers to adopt these extrenxe measures, upon the assump- 
tion that the French flag had been insulted, was unable to 
recede without discredit. On the other, the feeling was 
general in England that we^were bound to prevent our ally, 
who was in the right, from being bullied into submission. 
In these circumstances the position of the English Govern- 
ment was not a little embarrassing. A vigorous espousal of 
the cause of Portugal could .scarcely fail to provoke a rupture 
with France — a result too serious for the issue at stake; while 
anything less was sure to expose thepa to the charge of pusilla- 
nimity and abandonment of their ally. Had Portugal waited 

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X8s8 SATISFACTION TO PORTUGAL, 333 

for the delivery of the French ultimatum, and claimed the 
assistance of England under her treaty obligations, the results 
must have been serious, if France had not abated hfer demands. 
Happily, however, the Portuguese Government did not adopt 
this course, but in a great measure relieved us from the diffi- 
culty of our position by yielding to the demands made upon 
them without waiting for the delivery of the French ultima- 
tum. The action of the English Government was also modi- 
fied by the knowledge, which at the same time reached them 
through Lord Cowley (28th of October), that the French 
Government had themselves become conscious that ' they had 
got into a scrape, out of which they had not extricated 
themselves with honour, and that they would be more careful 
in future.' 

Some amends were made to the Portuguese Government 
by the publication in the Moniteur of a letter from the 
Emperor to Prince Napoleon, as Minister of Algeria and of 
the Colonies (30th of October), in which he forbade the con- 
tinuance of the system of importing labourers from the 
African coast, out of which the affair of the Charles and 
Oeorges had sprung. 

' As to the principle/ he said, * of the engagement of the 
negroes, my ideas are far from being settled. If, in truth, 
labourers recruited on the African coast are not allowed the 
exercise of their free will, and if this enrolment is only the slave- 
trade in disguise ' [as the Portuguese Government had maintained 
that it was], * I will have it on no terms ; for it is not I who will 
anywhere protect enterprises contrary to progress, to humanity, 
and to civilisation.' 

This was as near to an admission that the Portuguese had 
been in the right as could be expected ; but it could not 
obliterate the evil impression which the overbearing conduct 
of the French Government had produced. Gain though it 
was to Europe, that the matter had ended without war, still 

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334 DISCUSSION IN PARLIAMENT. 1858 

the fact that peace had been imperilled for such a cause 
left behind it a feeling of general soreness and distrust. It 
was in any case inevitable that the English Ministry should 
be gravely challenged for not adopting a more decided tone 
than was deemed advisable in the circumstances. In such 
cases, especially where the hazard of war is at an end, 
Oppositions are generally bellicose. Accordingly, on the 3rd 
of November the Prince wrote to Baron Stockmar : — 

' The Portuguese affair has made the worst possible im- 
pression here, and the Ministry will find it difficult to defend 
themselves from the reproach of having left Portugal in the 
lurch. If they had taken up the cudgels for Portugal in the 
way the case demanded, we should have been brought to the 
verge of a general war.' 

As it proved, Parliament had no sooner met than Ministers 
were put upon their trial in both Houses, by motions calling 
attention to their action in the affair. Lord Wodehouse, 
who led the attack in the House of Lords, withdrew his 
motion after an animated debate. A more formidable 
assault, initiated by Mr. A. W. Kinglake, in the House of 
Commons, fell to the ground in consequence of the dissolution 
of Parliament before the debate, which had been adjourned, 
could be resumed. 

In the midst of the uneasiness as to the maintenance of 
peace in Europe, which prevailed at this time, it was no 
small satisfaction that the intestine war in India was 
rapidly coming to a close. The campaign in Oude was 
being prosecuted with unbroken success, and before the end 
of the year the Commander-in-Chief was able (20th of Decem- 
ber) to assure Lord Canning that it was at an end, ' there 
being no longer even the vestige of rebellion in the province 
of Oude. The last remnant of the mutineers and insurgents,' 
he added, ' have been hopelessly driven across the mountains 

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t8j8 QUEEN'S INDIAN PROCLAMATION. 335 

which form the barrier between the Kingdom of Nepaul and 
Her Majesty's Empire of Hindostan.' 

On the 17th of October the Queen's Proclamation to Her 
Majest/s Indian subjects (see ante, p. 285) was received by 
Lord Canning. By the same mail he learned that to the 
dignity of the office of Governor- General of India the Queen 
had added the title of Her Majesty's Viceroy, ' It is Lord 
Canning's earnest prayer and hope,' he wrote (19th of October) 
to the Queen, * that, so long as this high function shall be in 
his trust, it may be administered in a spirit not unworthy 
of your Majesty, and that, when he shall deliver it again 
into your Majesty's hands, it may be found to be without 
spot or stain from any act or word of his,' 

In the same letter Lord Canning explained that arrange- 
ments had been made for the Queen's Proclamation being read 
in English and in all the native languages, not only in the 
Governor-General's camp at Allahabad and at the seats of 
Government, but at the head-quarters of every province in 
the Empire, from the Indus to the Irrawaddy. He had no 
doubt, he added, that * the Proclamation will have a strong 
and sensible effect,' though this might not be shown * quickly 
or ostentatiously.' 

( The mass of the people in India are quick enough in their 
jealousies and fears, bat they are very slow to take in any 
novelties which do not appeal to those passions or immediately 
affect their physical condition. In this remark Lord Canning 
does not include the Princes and leading Chiefs. Most of these 
are sufficiently intelligent and well informed to understand at 
once the beariog of the Proclamation. 

• To the good effect of the words in which religion is spoken 
of in the Proclamation, Lord Canning looks forward with very 
sanguine hope. 1 It is impossible that the justice, charity, and 

1 It is well these words should be remembered. We therefore give them here. 
Those in italics at the opening were added by the Queen to Lord Derby's draft 
on the suggestion of the Prince. It will not have been forgotten (see ante, p. 286) 
that the whole paragraph was recast at Her Majesty's request. — ' Firmly relying 

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•336 GOOD EFFECT IN INDIA 1858 

kindliness, as well as the true wisdom which mark these words, 
should not he appreciated,' 

Lord Canning's anticipations of the good effect of the Pro- 
clamation were more than realised. Throughout India it 
met with cordial and unqualified approval. What was said 
by a native merchant of high intelligence at a public meet- 
ing held on the 3rd of November at Calcutta, called to con- 
sider a loyal address to Her Majesty, might be said to express 
the prevailing feeling : — 

' I have read/ he said, * the Proclamation of Her Majesty 
with great pleasure — with awakened feeling — with tears when I 
came to the last paragraph. A nobler prod action it has not 
been my lot ever to have met with in my life. The justest, the 
broadest principles are enunciated therein. Humanity, mercy, 
justice, breathe through every line, and we ought all to welcome 
it with the highest hope and the liveliest gratitude. Depend 
upon it, when our Sovereign Queen tells us, "In your pros- 
perity is our strength, in your contentment our security, and in 
your gratitude our best reward," — the future of India is full of 
encouragement and hope to her children. What could have 
been nobler or more beautiful, what could have better dignified 
the tongue of a Queen, than language such as that ? Let us 
kneel down before her with every feeling of loyalty; let us 
welcome the new reign with the warmest sentiment of grati- 
tude — the deepest feeling of devotion/ * 

ourselves on the truth 0/ Christianity, and acknowledging frith gratitude the solace 
of religion, we disclaim alike the right and the desire to impose our convictions 
on any of our subjects. We declare it to be onr royal will and pleasure, that 
none be in any wise favoured, none molested or disquieted, by reason of their 
religious faith or observances, but that all shall alike enjoy the equal and im- 
partial protection of the law ; and we do strictly charge and enjoin all those 
who may be in authority under us that they abstain from all interference with 
the religious belief or worship of any of our subjects on pain of our highest 
displeasure.' 

On the same day that he wrote to the Qneen, Lord Canning wrote to Lord 
Stanley—' I cannot tell you with what pleasure I have Tead the passages relat- 
ing to religion. They are in every way admirable, and I almost envy you 
being persecuted for them, as you infallibly will be.' , , . . 

2 The Timed correspondent, from whose report this speech is taken, adds 



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1858 OF QUEEN'S PROCLAMATION, 337 

On the 2nd of December Her Majesty replied to Lord 
Canning, whose letter had reached her two days. before :— 

* It is,' Her Majesty wrote, c a source of great satisfaction 
and pride to her to feel herself in direct communication with 
that enormous Empire, which is so bright a jewel of her 
crown, and which she would wish to see happy, contented, 
and peaceful. May the publication of her Proclamation be 
the beginning of a new era, and may it draw a veil over the 
sad and bloody past ! 

' The Queen rejoices to hear that the Viceroy approves the 
passage about religion. She strongly insisted on it. She 
trusts also that the certainty of the amnesty remaining open 
till the 1st of January may not be productive of serious evil. 3 

' The Queen must express our admiration of Lord Canning's 
own Proclamation, the wording of which is beautiful. 

'The telegram received to-day brings continued good 
news, and announces her Proclamation having been read and 
having produced a good effect. . . . 

4 The Queen concludes with every wish for Lord Canning's 
success and prosperity, and with the assurance of her un- 
diminished and entire confidence.' 

Lord Canning's own Proclamation, issued simultaneously 
with that by the Queen, was indeed a model of what such a 
manifesto should be. It ran thus : — 

' Her Majesty the Queen having declared that it is her gracious 
pleasure to take upon herself the government of the British 
dominions in India, the Viceroy and Governor- General hereby 

* Genuineness of Asiatic feeling is always a problem, but I have little doubt it is 
in tbis instance tolerably sincere. The people understand an " Empress/' and did 
not understand the Company. Moreover, they — I am speaking of the masses — 
have a very decided notion, that the Queen has hanged the Company for offences, 
" -which must have been very great," and that fact gives hope of future jusiice.' 

* Lord Canning had expressed apprehension that this might encourag3 the 
rebels to hold oat and temporise. It did not, however, do so. 

VOL, IV, Z 



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338 ILLNESS OF PRINCE CONSORT. 1858 

notifies that from this day all acts of the Government of India 
-will be done in the name of the Qneen alone. 

' Prom this day all men, of every race and class, who nnder 
the administration of the Hon. the East India Company have 
joined to uphold the hononr and power of England, will be the 
servants of the Qneen alone. 

' The Governor- General summons them, one and all, each in 
his degree, and according to his opportunity, and with his whole 
heart and strength, to aid in fulfilling the gracious will and 
pleasure of the Queen as set forth in the Royal Proclamation. 

• From the many millions of Her Majesty's native subjects in 
India, the Governor-General will now and at all times exact a 
legal obedience to the call which, in words full of benevolence 
and mercy, their Sovereign has made upon their allegiance and 
faithfulness.' 

During this month of December the Prince had an attack 
of illness, one of those induced by over-fatigue, which, 
although slight in themselves, seemed of late to have become 
more numerous. No one, looking at the great amount of 
work in various directions which he got through daily, can 
be surprised at this. Brain and body were overtasked, and 
it need scarcely be said of one so conscientious, that the 
element of anxiety about the welfare of the State, which 
of necessity entered into so much of his work, was calculated 
to tell injuriously on a constitution even more robust than his 
had ever been. Of that anxiety this year had brought no 
ordinary amount, and the aspect of the political horizon gave 
little promise that it would be diminished. But, true 
knight as he was, he never spared himself, where the respon- 
sibilities of his high position called upon him for exertion. 
A strong expression of weariness or of despondency might 
escape him in the hasty jottings of his Diary, or in a confi- 
dential letter. But those about him saw little of this ; for 
he was always ready to meet any call upon his attention, and 
to take cheerfully any amount of labour, which could either 
minister to the public good, or lighten the burdens of the 



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1858 CHARLES KINGSLEY. 339 

Sovereign. Not over-careful about his own health, he was 
especially so about the health of those who were dear to him. 
At this time, he was unusually anxious about the Princess 
Royal, and, by a singular coincidence, in a letter written on 
the 14th of December, the day which, three years later, was 
to be his last, he wrote warning her to take precautions 
against the very illness which proved fatal to himself. 
* Fever,' he wrote, * is always a very wasting illness, because 
it stops all the functions by which the nourishment of the 
body is maintained.' 

So much had the Prince been engrossed by the paramount 
claims of business during the month of November, that it 
appears by his Diary he had been able to read that month 
only one book — a most unusual thing with him — and that a 
novel, Kingsley's Two Years Ago. What he thought of it 
is best told in his own words in a letter to his daughter at 
Berlin : — 

6 . . . The poet is only great by reason that he is great 
as a philosopher. Two Years Ago, a book which you, I 
think, have read, has given me great pleasure by its profound 
knowledge of human nature, and insight into the relations 
between man, his actions, his destiny and God.' 

A man so sincere as Mr. Kingsley, so in sympathy with 
the spiritual wants and questionings and aspirations of his 
time, so eager to help in lifting the great masses of the people 
out of the slough of ignorance and all its attendant suffering 
and vice, was certain to attract the attention of the Prince, 
and no less of the Queen. Accordingly Her Majesty appointed 
him one of her Chaplains in 1859, and he was subsequently 
engaged by the Prince to deliver a series of lectures on history 
to the Prince of Wales. Of Mr. Kingsley's works no one 
seems to have been more admired by the Prince than the 
Saint's Tragedy — the work by which his reputation in the 

s2 



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34© KINGSLEY'S 'SAINTS TRAGEDY. 9 1858 

world of letters was first established, and is likely to be longest 
maintained. Of this work the Prince writes (25th January, 
1860) to his daughter in Berlin : — 

4 My best thanks for your kind letter of the 20th. I was 
certain that the Saint's Tragedy would not only interest 
and impress you, but that you would comprehend and grasp 
the inner spirit of the work. The substitution of doctrines 
made by stupid men for laws of God-made nature is the core 
of Catholicism; the good God did not understand how to 
make His own world, nature is wicked, given over to destruc- 
tion — a thing to be abhorred. Yet stay. Not so. The good 
God made it in the beginning altogether good, and the Devil 
has spoiled His handiwork ; it is, to speak properly, the 
workmanship of the latter, and God is unable to help Him- 
self. Then comes the Church and helps Him out of His 
trouble ; she destroys this wicked, degenerate nature for Him 
and magnanimously gives Him his own. 

'This is the true meaning of the flesh and the devil, as 
presented by the Church. Kingsley has depicted this work 
of the Church in all its purity in " Elizabeth the Saint," and 
the reader's own nature shudders before the image of what 
the Church has substituted for God's own work (Ersatz- 
gebildy 

Among the Prince's readings for December was Mr. 
Trollope's Barchester Towers, no unpleasant relief to the 
perusal of Archbishop Whately's work On the Mi/ad and of 
the Memoirs of Prince Eug&ne, with which it disputed his 
attention. All novels of character had for him an irresistible 
charm ; and none, therefore, took a greater hold upon his 
imagination and memory than the early masterpieces of 
George Eliot, with which he became acquainted a few months 
after this time. He revelled in her humour, and the sayings 
of Mrs. Poyser especially were often on his lips, and quoted 

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1858 'ADAM BEDE: 341 

with an aptness which brought out their significance with 
added force. So highly did he think of Adam Bede, that 
he sent a copy of it to Baron Stockmar, soon after it was 
published. ' It will amuse you, 9 he said in the letter sending 
it, ' by the fulness and variety of its studies of human 
character. By this study, your favourite one,' he added, ' I 
find myself every day more and more attracted.' It is pleasant 
to think of the Prince as escaping into the higher life and 
permanent realities of romance from his often thankless 
efforts to keep things straight at home, or his painful study 
of what he justly called (ante, p. 324) ' the great Continental 
policy of intrigue.' 4 

A problem of the latter class was now before the diplo- 
matists of Europe. As the year drew towards a close, the 
impression that a war in Italy was imminent continued to 
gather strength. The estrangement between Austria and 
France grew daily more marked, and expressions dropped by 
the Emperor of the French led to the conclusion that an 
open rupture would not long be delayed. It was ascertained 
that he had formed the idea, that the true way to set himself 
right with public opinion in England, which he saw was 
now dead against him, was to. embark in a war. with Austria 
for the freedom of Italy. Means ware taken to make him 
aware, that in this he would probably find himself mistaken, 
as however much- England might sympathise with the desire 
of the Italians to shake off the Austrian rule, this would not 
overbear her respect for existing treaties, or induce her to 
countenance a breach by one of the Great Powers of the 



4 Fond as he was. of high*class works of fiction, the Prince held that they 
should be sparingly laid open to young people during the years which should 
be devoted to study. Even during holiday time, he writes in a letter (17th 
September, 1859) to the Rev. Charles Tarver, tutor of the Prince of Wales, * I 
should be very sorry that he ' [the Prince of Wales] ' should look upon the 
reading of a novel (even by Sir Walter Scott) a* a datfs work. ... I am foe 
his reading a good. novel, but. would allow this to him as an indulgence*' 



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342 SPREAD OF APPREHENSIONS i8$8 

international engagements by which Europe was held to- 
gether. How serious were the apprehensions caused by the 
state of the French Emperor's mind may be seen by the 
following letter from the Queen on the 9th of December to 
Lord Malmesbury : — 

4 The Queen is much alarmed at what Lord Cowley writes 
as to the Emperor Napoleon's supposed intentions to bring on 
a war in Italy. Whatever can be done to turn the Emperor's 
mind from such a project ought to be done. He will not re- 
flect, but sees only what he wishes. If he make war in Italy 
it must in all probability lead to war with Germany, and, if 
with Germany, will embrace Belgium, and if so must, accord- 
ing to our guarantees, draw us into the quarrel, and France 
may thus have the whole of Europe against her, as in 1814 
and 1815.' 

Lord Malmesbury had by anticipation instructed Lord 
Cowley to press these considerations upon the Emperor of the 
French, and trusting to a quasi official contradiction by him 
of the warlike intentions towards Austria with which he was 
charged, Lord Malmesbury was indisposed to share the general 
distrust of his old friend. But the Prince Consort obviously 
took a different view, for we find him writing in the first days 
of 1859 in these very decided terms: *I am very uneasy 
about the coming spring, for personally I have not a moment's 
doubt that the Emperor Napoleon contemplates war, and 
that it will be against Austria in Italy.' 

When the time came for the transmission of the New Year 
congratulations, which had for several years been interchanged 
between the Sovereigns, Her Majesty's letter conveyed an 
indirect appeal to the Emperor not to disturb a peace, which, 
once broken, it might be so difficult to restore. ' May the year 
1859,' Her Majesty wrote (31st of December), * assure the 
tranquillity and the peace of the world, and may our two 



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1858 AS TO WAR IN ITALY. 343 

Governments, cherishing their cordial understanding on all 
points, continue to contribute to its happiness and its pros- 
perity I ' * 

This letter was crossed by one of the same date to the 
Queen from the Emperor, in which, although avoiding all 
reference to the question of peace or war, he expressed in the 
strongest terms his anxiety that nothing should interrupt the 
cordiality of the relations between England and France. * I 
cannot, 9 he wrote, ' let the new year begin without expressing 
to your Majesty all my wishes for your happiness. I hope 
the coming year will be prolific in happy results for the 
alliance of the two countries ; this much at least is certain, 
that my efforts will always be directed to maintaining a 
sincere alliance between our two Governments. In this view 
I feel bound again to thank your Majesty for having come to 
Cherbourg, for your presence there and that of the Prince 
have silenced the absurd rumours which people took pleasure 
in spreading.' 

In the same letter the Emperor announced an arrangement 
which to the well-informed was full of significance. * I have to 
inform your Majesty that an event will shortly take place in 
our family. Prince Napoleon is about to marry the daughter 
of the King of Sardinia. This marriage, I doubt not, will 
help to create for the Empress a companionship at once in- 
timate and agreeable/ * 

• 'Puisse l'annee 1859 Assurer la tranquillity et la paix du monde, et puis- 
sent nos deux gouvernementg en s'entendant sur toute chose continuer a contri- 
buer a son bonheur et a sa prosperity ! ' 

• * Je ne veux pas laisser cummencer une nouvelle annee sans exprimer a 
Totre Majeste tons lea yobux que je forme pour son bonheur. J'espere que 
la nouvelle annee sera feconde en heureux resultats pour l'alliance des deux 
pays ; ce qu'il y a de sur, c'est que je ferai toujours mes efforts pour main- 
tenir entre nos deux gouvernenwnts une union sincere. A ce propos je dois 
encore remercier votre Majesty d'etre venue A Cherbourg, car sa presence et 
cells du Prince ont fait cesser tous ces bruits absurdes qu on s'etait plu a re*- 
pandre. 

' J'ai a annoncer a rotre Majeste qua bbntftt un erenement heureux se pas- 



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344 CHRISTMAS AT WINDSOR CASTLE. 1858 

The Prince, who was aware that the French Emperor had a 
few weeks before discussed with Lord Palmerston, a not un- 
sympathetic listener, then on a visit to him, his plans for the 
expulsion of the Austrians from Italy, that he had in readiness 
sixty batteries of rifled guns, with their equipments, and that 
for some months a general rising had been organised through- 
out Northern Italy, could only draw one conclusion from the 
fact of the marriage thus suddenly announced. If there were 
no war in Italy in the spring, he felt sure it would not be 
from want of will upon the Emperor's part. As already said, 
this view had not been taken by the Foreign Secretary ; but, 
before the year 1859 had well begun, the language of the 
French Emperor had convinced every diplomatist in Europe 
of the truth of what had hitherto been merely surmise. 

When Christmas drew the thoughts back to the joys of 
the home circle, the ambitions and jealousies of States were 
for the time forgotten in the innocent mirth and gracious 
courtesies for which the Royal home was conspicuous. 7 Pre- 
sents from home greeted the absent daughter at Berlin, that 
showed how she lived in the hearts of those from whose circle 
she was daily missed. Warm expressions of gratitude for 
these remembrances came swiftly back to the old home. We 
extract a passage from the Prince's reply : — 

* Windsor Castle, 28th December, 1858. 
* . . . We are greatly pleased that you liked the glass, and 
that Fritz thought it in good taste. We saw the pattern of 

sera dans ma famille. Le Prince Napoleon va epouser la fille du Roi de Sar- 
daigne. Ce manage contribuera, je n'en doute pas, a creer a l'lmperatrice une 
societe intime et agreable.' 

r We hare had frequent occasion to show how affectionately all family 
anniversaries were kept np in the Royal home. A few days before the recur- 
rence of her birthday this year the Prince wrote to the Princess Royal : — 

4 This will be the first of your birthdays which we shall celebrate away from 
you, but thoughts surmount all distance and maintain the fusion of soul with 
soul. May your happiness go on expanding without disturbance and without 
cloud! It has begun gloriously, and God will continue to bless it' 



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1858 ASTON HALL. 345 

it in Aston Hall, in Birmingham, where some of the glasses 
stood upon the table, and had been specially made to har- 
monise with the Rtyle of the hall. You see, therefore, that 
the glass stands in a mystical inward connection with your 
favourite Charles I., " the blessed martyr," and most blunder- 
ing of kings, and this ought to make it especially valuable 
in your eyes.' 

It is not every reader who will understand the Prince's 
allusion ; but it was no secret to one so well read in history 
as the Crown Princess. She knew that Charles I. had slept 
at Aston Hall in October 1642, on his march from Shrews- 
bury to Banbury, to relieve Banbury Castle. She knew, too, 
that there was a romance connected with that visit, for among 
the suite that accompanied Charles was the son of the owner 
of the Hall, Sir Thomas Holte, who then for the first time 
for more than twenty years slept under the roof of a father 
by whom he had never been forgiven for marrying without his 
consent the daughter of Dr. John King, Bishop of London — 
King James's 'king of preachers.' Not even the personal 
solicitation of the King years before, by a letter in his own 
hand, had been able to move Sir Thomas Holte from his 
purpose. Neither was the heart of the old man softened 
by the sight of his son, under circumstances that might well 
have roused some yearnings of affection. The younger Holte, 
so says the tradition, still unforgiven, left Aston Hall with the 
King. He was wounded seven days afterwards, and died in 
the August of the following year, of a fever which he con- 
tracted while serving on the King's side in the defence of 
Oxford. 

There was another who at these social anniversaries was 
always foremost in the thoughts of every member of the Eoyal 
family circle, — the Baron Stockmar. To him the Prince 
wrote as follows : — 

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346 LETTER TO BARON STOCKMAR. 1858 

' I send you, to-day, warm from my heart, a happy New- 
Year, which I hope will reach you just at the right time. 
May the coming year turn out in every way to your satisfac- 
tion ! That we have met twice of late, though unhappily 
for so short a time, was a great comfort to my heart ; may 
the coming year in this respect throw that which is past into 
the shade I I trust you hold your purpose of going to Berlin 
at the critical moment, and that you will not brood over it 
too long, and so overstay the event. Clark is to start from 
here on the 10th. 

' The news from Berlin continues good ; even in regard to 
politics, I am hopeful of a quiet consolidation of the more 
liberal government. People all round naturally try to make 
the Prince nervous, but I hope he will not suffer himself to 
be misled. I have again written to him by the last courier 
and expressed my conviction that he ought to regard the 
more stirring life, which will and must show itself in a freely 
elected Chamber, not as a symptom of disease, but as a sign 
of vital power, and rejoice at its existence. . . .* 

' Our son Alfred writes from Malta, and has by this time 
sailed for Tunis and Algiers. He is received everywhere 
with great cordiality ; in Malta with * reverence and loyalty,' 
according to the Governor's report. The Prince of Wales 
will start on his Italian tour upon the 10th, He is now 
very hard at work. . . . 

'Windsor Castle, 20th December, 1858/ 

8 The letter to which the Prince refers will be found printed p. 327 it stq. 
ante. 



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347 



CHAPTER XC. 

The bitter feeling which, as we have seen, had long subsisted 
between France and Austria was so well known, that the 
only question among political observers was, by which of 
these Powers the rupture would first be declared. Hitherto 
their mutual complaints and recriminations had been known 
only to the European Powers through the secret and confi- 
dential despatches of their Ambassadors ; but now the atten- 
tion of Europe was openly called to the critical climax at 
which these had arrived by a few significant words addressed 
by the Emperor Napoleon to M. Hiibner, the Austrian 
Ambassador at Paris, on 1st January, 1859. M. Hiibner had 
waited on the Emperor with his diplomatic colleagues to 
present the personal congratulations which were customary 
on that day. 'I regret,' the Emperor said to him in the 
hearing of those present, i that the relations between our two 
Governments are not more satisfactory ; but I beg you to 
assure the Emperor that they in no respect alter my feelings 
of friendship to himself.' 

The words were slight in themselves, and such as in 
ordinary times would have been classed with those ebullitions 
of an imperious temper, of which the annals of despotic 
sovereigns contain many records. 1 But it was not thus they 
were interpreted, either by those who heard them, or by the 

1 It was truly said of them by Lord Granville in the Debate on the Address 
(3rd of February) : ' These words might have meant everything, or they might 
.hare meant nothing at all/ 



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348 SPEECH OF FRENCH EMPEROR 1859 

anxious thousands in every capital in Europe, to which they 

were flashed by telegraph as soon as they were spoken. 

Everywhere they were regarded as the first mutterings of 

the thundercloud, which had long been seen to be gathering — 

the prelude to the conflict for which France and Austria had 

for months been concentrating their resources. Simple as 

the words were, they were sufficient to shake Europe from 

side to side. Austria read in them a note of open defiance. 

Germany thought the time had come to look to the security 

of her Rhenish provinces. England, disquieted at the prospect 

of the question of the distribution of European territoiy 

being again thrown open, recalled the vehement language of 

the first Napoleon to Lord Whitworth on 1st February, 1803, 

when he had determined on a rupture of the Peace of Amiens, 

as a close parallel, both in tone and purpose, to the Emperor's 

address to M. Hiibner. In the Italian Duchies and the Roman 

States the Emperor's language excited the wildest hopes of 

a speedy deliverance. Throughout Piedmont, however, the 

prospect which it opened of a war, for which the country was 

ill prepared, was regarded with anything but enthusiasm. 

The King of Sardinia and even Count Cavour were taken by 

surprise, for although they knew, as no one else could, how 

much the Emperor's words implied, they had not anticipated 

so early a declaration on the part of their ally. * II parait 

que VErrvpereur vent cdler en avantj the latter remarked 

with a smile, when he was informed of the words by which 

M. Hiibner and his diplomatic colleagues had been so rudely 

startled. 

The rashness, which alternated with reserve in the actions 
of the Emperor of the French, had in this instance, as he 
soon found, carried him somewhat prematurely into an open 
indication of his purposes. France was not disposed to enter 
upon a crusade of which the advantages to herself were by no 
means apparent. The operations of trade and commerce 

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1859 TO THE AUSTRIAN AMBASSADOR. 349 

were instantly affected, and the funds fell with a rapidity 
which appalled investors, and baffled the sagacity of the most 
skilful operators on the Bourse. Prussia, pressed by the 
French Ambassador at Berlin to say whether she would be 
neutral, in the event of any complication arising, had answered 
in decided terms, that whatever nation first disturbed the 
peace of the world must not expect her sympathy or goodwill. 
England, though she would have rejoiced to see Italy emanci- 
pated by the united efforts of her own people from the 
thraldom of Austria and the potentates who leant upon 
Austria to uphold them in their misrule, spoke in much the 
same terms. Her publicists and statesmen distrusted a 
programme in which France and Russia, two absolutely 
despotic Powers, were to play the liberators of a country 
which, to be regenerated, must enjoy independence and be 
entrusted with the responsibilities of free institutions. 
Accordingly, instead of the sympathy from England, on 
which the Emperor had counted, it was at once made clear 
that he had only evoked a settled distrust and a resolve to 
hold herself free to act as the general interests of Europe 
might dictate. 

The Emperor was not slow to discover the mistake he had 
made. Ostentatious civilities were shown within the next 
few days to M. Hubner, and a paragraph was inserted on the 
7th of January in the Moniteur, referring to the alarming 
rumours by which public opinion had been recently agitated, 
and declaring that there was nothing in France's diplomatic 
relations to warrant the fears to which these rumours tended 
to give rise. But these assurances had no effect in allaying 
the general feeling of disquiet. The French funds continued 
to fall under the apprehension of an European war, and the 
Emperor could not but be aware, 2 that this apprehension, 

. * ' Pereire told the Fmperor that his speech to Huboer would cost France 
a milliard. Added to the King of Sardinia's speech and Prince Napoleon's 

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35<> ADDRESS OF KING OF SARDINIA. 1859 

strengthened as it must soon be by the announcement of 
the intended marriage of Prince Napoleon to the Princess 
Clothilde, would probably throw the finance of the country 
into most serious confusion. 

While things were in this state, the prevailing alarm was 
augmented by the Address of King Victor Emmanuel in 
opening the Sardinian Chambers on the 10th of January, the 
terms of which, it was well known, had been settled with the 
Emperor of the French : — 

* Oar country,' said the King, ( small in territory, has acquired 
credit in the councils of Europe, because it is great through the 
idea it represents and the sympathies it inspires. This position 
is not exempt from perils, since, while we respect treaties, we 
are not insensible to the cry of suffering (grido di dolore) which 
reaches us from so many parts of Italy.' 

Respect for treaties, it was felt, was not likely to stand 
long in the way, should the occasion arise for answering to 
this ' cry of suffering.' By all Italians the words were con- 
strued as an answer to their cry for help, which they now 
felt sure would very soon be enforced by French and Pied- 
montese cannon. 

Austria was in no temper to take calmly the provocations 
thus openly given to her by Piedmont and France. She 
had all along declined to recognise the right of France to 
interfere in Italian affairs, and had therefore refused more 
than once to combine with her in any effort to bring about 
reforms in the governments of the Duchies or the Papal 
States, which might have restored them, at least for a time, 
to tranquillity and contentment. She was pledged by treaty 
to support the sovereigns of those States against any hostile 
movement, either from within or from without Her 
resources were already strained to the uttermost by the 

marriage, it ia more likely to cost two.' — Lord Cowley to Lord Malmesbvfyt 
Uth January, 1859. 



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1859 STATE OF FEELING IN AUSTRIA. 351 

necessity in which she was held, by the action of Piedmont, 
of keeping up her military strength upon what was 
practically a war footing. She had a magnificent army. 
Her generals were reputed to be the best in Europe, and 
she was confident in her power to meet Piedmont, even 
although backed by France, successfully in the field. Her 
answer to the French Emperor's words had been to push 
forward her military preparations, and to hurry great bodies 
of troops into the plains of Lombardy. Austrian officers 
talked openly of the approaching advance upon Turin, which, 
they declared, was to be the first stage upon the way to Paris. 
If war were inevitable, as it seemed to be, the sooner, they 
said, for Austria the better. She had been long preparing, 
and she was now ready to act with effect. Piedmont was 
weak in forces, weaker still in finance. Russia, terribly 
crippled in finances, was still suffering under the exhaustion 
of the Crimean war, and had her hands full with her own 
internal reforms and social difficulties ; while before France 
could come to the aid of Piedmont, a blow might be struck, 
the effect of which not even France could undo. 

In this temper it was to be feared that some step might be 
taken, which should give Piedmont and France warrant for 
charging Austria with the blame of being the aggressor. 
Austria had already experienced that the pacific professions 
of Piedmont were not to be trusted. It was an experience 
which her chief Minister, Count Buol, was not likely to for- 
get ; for in 1848, when he was Ambassador at Turin, he had 
received from King Charles Albert the strongest assurances 
that no attack on Lombardy was intended, at the very time 
that orders had been forwarded to the Sardinian troops to 
cross the frontier. Determined to be secure against any 
second surprise, Austria now moved her forces to the Ticino, — 
a step which Piedmont did not fail to make a ground of com- 
plaint. At any moment some overt act might be committed, 



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352 LETTER BY THE PRINCE. 1859 

that would give to Piedmont the opportunity of calling upon 
France for the assistance to which the Emperor, it is now 
known, was pledged by the agreement come to at Plombteres 
with Count Cavour. The terms of that arrangement were still 
a secret; but those who saw the perplexed state of the French 
Emperor's mind at this time felt convinced that he had 
placed himself under conditions to Count Cavour, by which 
he was bound to a line of action from which he felt it im- 
possible to escape. 3 

The Italian question had reached this critical stage, when 
the Prince wrote the following letter (15th of January) to 
Baron Stockmar : — 

4 The state of Europe has become very perplexed since I 
last wrote to you. Louis Napoleon thinks he has found the 
right moment for making war, and the right field for it in 
Italy, and the people about him, especially his cousin, have 
been constantly dinning into his ears : " (Test une occasion qui 
ne 86 trouvera pas une seconds fois aussi belle." • . . The 
speech on New Year's day seems to have set light to the train 
before all was ready, and now all Europe is alarmed, and would 
fain establish a fire brigade. The money market is affected 
to a decree altogether incredible, and the loss upon the Public 
Funds in three days is estimated at 60,000,000Z. ! Even here 
the sympathy for the Italians is silent for the moment, because 
it is felt that the exchange of one tyrant for another is no 
emancipation. Only Palmerston speaks just as he did in 
1848, and has already taken his line again from the Piave, 
which is to form the Austrian boundary. 

■ Lord Cowley (12th January) wrote to Lord Malmesbury ;— 'His Majesty 
is very much out of humour at what is taking place in France, and seemed 
yesterday very much cast down ; but either his friends or some arrftre pe»9ie 
will not allow him to do the very thing which could restore confidence here, 
namely, declare that he had no intention to go to war/ That the arrih* 
petuU was the remembrance of the engagement of which Count Cavour was in 
possession can be no longer doubtful. 

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1859 THE EMPEROR OF THE FRENCH 353 

fc I still think that people in Paris will shrink from a 
collision. The Russians are of course " at the bottom of the 
whole thing ; " they would be able, without any outlay on 
their part, to avenge themselves on Austria, and in case 
of things going wrong, they could leave Napoleon in the 
lurch, let themselves be bought off by Austria at the price of 
Turkish territory, and so be amply compensated for all the 
mishaps of the last war. Their game is simple and cleverly 
planned, but it ought to be seen through in Paris without any 
great perspicacity. The war, moreover, is not likely to be 
more popular there than the marriage with the Emperor's 
cousin is in Sardinia, which the Court has for that reason 
until now thought it expedient to keep a profound secret. 

'The Prince of Wales will have opportunities of seeing 
and coming across much that is interesting. In this view 
we have thought it better not to change his tour on account 
of the crisis in politics. He is to reach Niirnberg to-day.' 

The Prince's conviction that Russia had been mainly in- 
strumental in deciding the policy of the Emperor of the 
French received a striking confirmation in the language used 
by the Emperor a few days after the date of this letter in a 
conversation with Lord Cowley. ' Look,' said His Majesty, 
as Lord Cowley wrote (20th of January) to Lord Malmes- 
bury — 

* Look at the difference of your proceedings at this moment 
from those of Russia. You are both interested in the main- 
tenance of peace. England places before me all the responsi- 
bilities I shall incur if war is made, and informs me I ought to 
keep the peace. Russia, on the other hand, tells me that her 
desire is peace — that it is the interest of every country that 
peace should be maintained, but that if, after having well weighed 
the matter, I find myself obliged to take up arms, she will give 
me all the assistance in her power, by placing such an army on 
her frontier as will hold Austria and Prussia in check.' 



VOL. IV. A A 



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354 FEELING IN GERMANY. 1859 

The English Ambassador spoke of this insidious language 
as might have been expected. He told the Emperor that it 
was a direct invitation to go to war. ' It is,' he said, ' as if 
Her Majesty's Government were to say to your Majesty, " For 
God's sake, keep quiet ; but, if you will not, there is a large 
British fleet in the Mediterranean which will lend you every 
assistance." Nobody could doubt, that under such circum- 
stances there would be war in a week.'- 

The Emperor had by this time discovered that he had 
created a very formidable counterpoise to the friendship of 
Eussia in the feeling which had sprung up in Germany, and 
which had been responded to by the Liberal Ministry with 
whom the Prince Eegent was now acting. The instant appre- 
hension of France's ulterior designs upon the Rhine, to which 
a campaign in Italy was regarded as merely the prelude, had 
drawn the various States of Germany closely together ; and 
the French Minister at Berlin had been told in the plainest 
terms, that if Austria were attacked unjustly, public opinion 
would oblige Prussia to go to her assistance. 

The new Prussian Administration was obnoxious to Russia 
for reasons already explained (supra, p. 321), and being 
obnoxious to his ally was obnoxious to the French Emperor 
also. In an interview, early in January, with an agent of the 
King of the Belgians, the Emperor complained of the dis- 
missal of the Manteuffel Ministry in no measured language, 
as though it were a personal wrong to himself, and he coupled 
this complaint with the extraordinary charge, that the King, 
the Duke of Saxe-Coburg, and the Prince Consort were 
actively promoting a German league against France. What 
passed upon this occasion was soon made known to Lord 
Cowley, and by him communicated to Lord Malmesbury, 
in a despatch which was at once made known to the Queen. 
At the same time a report by the King of the Belgians' agent 
was transmitted by the King to the Prince, and by him sent 

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1859 THE PRINCE TO LORD MALMESBURY. 355 

to Lord Malmesbury. Upon this, the Prince wrote to Lord 
Malmesbury (16th of January) : — 

'My dear Lord Malmesbury, 's and Lord Cowley's 

reports are valuable for comparison, although saddening in the 
story, and the state of mind of the Emperor which they reveal. 
He has been born and bred a conspirator, and at his present age 
will never get out of this turn of mind, scheming himself and 
suspicious of others. For his schemes he wanted and still 
wants an ally. England was the only one he could obtain 
after his assumption of the Imperial Crown; but as the 
English Alliance means maintenance of public law and 
treaties, and progress in civilisation, it was frequently most 
irksome to him, and hence his constant complaints of the 
restraints to which it subjected him. Now he has got Russia 
. . . and is longing for revenge against Europe. He thinks 
himself safe in this alliance, and therefore comes forward with 
his schemes. . . . Nothing will arrest him but uncertainty 
about England and fear of Germany. . . . 

4 1 need not tell you that I do not get up a Prusso- 
Austrian alliance. These Powers themselves generally know 
pretty well where their interest lies. Of my brother I have 
heard nothing of late, and I believe him absorbed by a new 
Opera which he has just brought out.' 

In the same interview the Emperor of the French had 
urged, in somewhat dictatorial language, that the very exis- 
tence of Belgium depended upon the intimacy of her alliance 
with France, 4 and it seemed to the Prince that the King of 
the Belgians' agent had failed to vindicate the true position 
of Belgium with proper intelligence or spirit. This con- 
clusion he expressed with his usual frankness in writing to 

4 His words, as reported to King Leopold, were :— * La Belgique ne pent exister 
gu'a la condition (Tune union intime avec la France. I/ailUurs ce n'est pas seule- 
tnent ma politique : c'itait aussi cells du roi Louis-Philippe lorsqu'il mariait sa 
fiUe et voulait I union douanikre ; cest la politique de la France.* 

A a 2 

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356 LETTER BY THE PRINCE 1859 

the King. In the same letter his frankness on another point 
of no small delicacy affecting the King's own opinions is 
equally conspicuous : — 

'Windsor Castle, 18fch January, 1859. 

4 1 return with my best thanks 's interesting Despatch, 

find have charged Van de Weyer to report to you in detail 
everything which could be interesting to you. Neverthe- 
less, I will add a couple of lines from myself. Your agent 
seems to me in the interview [with the French Emperor] 
to have defended Belgium badly ; he ought not to have 
given any countenance to the Emperor's proposition of a 
separate alliance with France as a condition essential to 
'the existence of Belgium. For under the Treaties the very 
reverse — that is, the absolute neutrality of Belgium — is the 
case. It is quite true that King Louis Philippe set up the 
same pretence. But it was upon this footing of neutrality, 
and upon this alone, that Belgium has, since 1848, been re- 
ceived within the European State-family, and been acknow- 
ledged as a brother. 

' That I am at work upon no alliance between Prussia and 
Austria I need not say. Ernest seems to be chiefly occupied 
about his new Opera; but "a conspirator is always sus- 
picious," and therefore Louis Napoleon is so. That he is 
annoyed at Germany, and that he has found an instrument 
for his purposes slip through his fingers in Berlin, just at the 
most critical moment, by the fall of Manteuffel, I can quite 
believe. The new national policy of Prussia is an incredible 
protection for Europe at this moment, and makes possible a 
sympathy between Germany and England, the absence of 
which was a great misfortune. I regret, therefore, to hear 
from many quarters that you show anything but trust in or 
liking for the new regime, but are rather disposed to shake 
the Prince's reliance upon the National and Liberal party, 

N 



1859 TO THE KING OF THE BELGIANS. 357 

Rdata refero, but I am driven to do so by a sense of duty. 
Everything depends on the Prince's not losing his self- 
reliance. . . . 

4 Louis Napoleon has manifestly calculated thus : " Russia 
will be well pleased to avenge herself on Austria, and will, 
therefore, support me in my attack on Italy. England hates 
Austria, is mad for Italian freedom and nationality, so she, 
too, will give me her moral support. Prussia hates Austria, 
will be glad to see her humbled, and is to be won over by pro- 
mises of advancement in Germany at the expense of Austria. 
Italy yearns for freedom, and will, therefore, receive me and 
my army with transport." 

6 I am not sure whether he is not reckoning without his host 
on all these four points, as well as on a fifth, namely, that the 
French nation is by no means anxious for war. Had the words 
of the 1st of January been let fall for the first time in April, 
and after a rising in Milan and sundry acts of violence on 
the part of Austria towards her insurgent Italian subjects, 
things might stand, or have stood, differently. But several 
months of meditation, whether it is Christian, politic, or of 
advantage, &c. &c., to make war, is a great drawback to him, 
and the Bourse is an eloquent preacher for peace. Sardinia 
is trying to raise money in the London market, and cannot 
get a penny. . . .* 

' Louis Napoleon told Lord Clarendon at Compi&gne that 
he neither will nor can undertake any reform or change in 
Borne or with Borne, that even Naples must be left at peace, 
in order to please the Russians — that only Lombardy, there- 
fore, is left as a field for political action. The two purposes of 
the last war (that in the East), so far as France was concerned, 

• 'The banker Lafitte was with me on Thursday. He is trying in vain to 
raise a loan for Cavonr, and cannot get 1,000/. He says that Cavour is bankrupt 
and desperate, and that, if the panic lasts, all the small proprietors of personal 
property in France will be ruined. There is as yet no improvement.'— Jjttter 
from Lord Mahneebury to the Prince, 1.5th of January, 1859. 



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358 INCREASE OF FRENCH PUBLIC DEBT. 1859 

had been Poland and Italy. Poland had been put on one 

side at the conclusion of peace, so only Italy was left, and 

that he was pledged to the country to reorganise. At the 

same time I share your belief that the dread of assassination 

has a great deal to do in the business, and that Cavour spares 

no pains to stimulate this apprehension, so as to keep his 

borse going, giving him an occasional cut of the whip by 

sending him accounts of fresh discoveries of assassination 

plots. 6 

'I have just been reading in the Economist a very 

remarkable compilation in reference to the French State 

Debt, which I extract, as it cannot fail to interest you. It 

was in 

£ 
1814 .... 50,600,000 

1830 .... 177,000,000 

1851 .... 213,800,000 

1858 . . . . 336,880,000 

4 This speaks volumes ! ' 

By this time the panic in France had grown to such serious 
proportions, that the Emperor found himself in a formidable 
dilemma. Austria might at any moment precipitate a war, 
for which his own preparations were not complete. Piedmont 
might do the same, relying upon his support, in which case 
he would be bound to act upon the side of the Power which 
the rest of Europe would in that case declare had placed 
itself in the wrong. Either event was equally to be depre- 
cated. To gain time and to trust that Austria would do 
something to set him free from the imputation of courting 

* So the first Napoleon was constantly told by Fouche, in 1803, that there 
•were ' poignards in the air/ while the Minister of Police was maturing his 
plans for getting Moreau, Pichegru, Georges Cadoudal, and their friends into 
his toils. There was, however, a foundation for Cavour s suggestions. In 
Fonche's case there was none. 



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l8$9 FRENCH AGREEMENT WITH CAVOUR. 359 

a wax was now his obvious policy. At the same time he ad- 
mitted the understanding come to with Count Cavour at 
Plombi&res so far as to avow that he had there come under en- 
gagement to assist the King of Sardinia, but only in the event 
of an unprovoked attack by Austria. If she placed herself in 
the wrong, she should have no support from him. This was 
the language he held in a conversation with Lord Cowley ( 1 8th 
January), and by him reported to Lord Malmesbury : — 

1 What I said to M. de Cavour ' [in the interviews at Plom- 
bieres] ' I repeat now. My sympathies have always been, and 
still are, with Italy. I regret that Lombardy should be in the 
possession of Austria, but I cannot and do not dispute the right 
of the latter. I respect existing treaties, because they are the 
only landmarks we have. So long as Austria remains within 
her own frontiers she is, of course, mistress to do as she pleases. 
With regard to Sardinia, if she provokes hostilities unjustly, and 
places herself in the wrong, she must expect no support from 
me.' 

For the moment it seemed to the outside world that the 
danger of war had blown over ; but it was palpable that, if 
the stormcloud had not broken, it was still there. When or 
how it would break, it was as impossible to divine as it was 
to foresee what changes would be revealed, when the forces 
pent up within it had discharged their fury. But that it 
must break, and that soon, was well-nigh certain. Meanwhile 
the Chanceries of every Court in Europe were agitated from 
day to day by conflicting rumours of alliances and coalitions. 
If war began in Italy, the whole Continent might soon be in 
a blaze, and each of the Powers had to consider on whom it 
could count for support in the event of a general war. A 
close alliance, offensive and defensive, between Austria and 
Prussia would have been the surest barrier to the spread of 
war beyond Italy. 7 Accordingly strenuous efforts were made 

9 On the 5th of February, Count Buol addressed an appeal to the same 

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360 LETTER BY THE PRINCE 1859 

by Austria to induce Prussia to enter into such an alliance 
by anticipation, and King Leopold sent to the Prince for 
perusal a Despatch of M. Nothomb, his Ambassador at 
Berlin, in which the justice of calling on Prussia to take this 
step was advocated. In this view the Prince did not concur, 
resting his conclusion upon his favourite principle, that it is 
time enough for men or nations to decide their course of action, 
when the facts on which to base a decision are clearly de- 
veloped. Accordingly, on returning the Despatch to King 
Leopold (27th January), he writes : — 

4 1 return Nothomb's Despatch with my best thanks. The 
parallel he draws with the Eastern struggle is not an apt 
one. In that case Europe had declared by Protocol that 
Russia was in the wrong, and that, if she persisted, she would 
violate International Law and the interests of Europe in 
Turkey. Prussia had been a party to this decision, but 
when it came to enforcing by the sword what it had 
joined in saying, and thereby preventing war, Prussia drew 
back and took refuge in her neutrality. In the present case 
nothing has actually been done, no overt act has been com- 
mitted, on which Europe could pronounce judgment, and 
what is disquieting Europe consists solely of rumours, of 
apprehensions, of surmises, which are denied by the party 
suspected. Such being the case, to ask for a declaration 
from Prussia, the weakest and most distracted State among 
the five Great Powers, as to how it will act in a state of 
things which may never arise, would be most unfair. 

4 Will Russia support France in her designs ? Everything 
seems to me to indicate that she has plotted and set on foot 
the whole affair. The proofs of this lie plainly before one's 
eyes. Yet it cannot be well, that she should first avenge 

effect to all the States of the German Confederation, in a Despatch to the Re- 
presentatives of Austria at the different Courts of Germany. With singular 
tnaladresse he omitted to address this communication to Prussia also. 

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1 859 TO KING LEOPOLD. 361 

herself on Austria, and then, having done this, leave France 
in the lurch. If, besides this, she can involve us in war 
with France, she will have avenged herself on all three, and 
may then laugh in her sleeve and quietly pursue her own 
interests. I have not the shadow of a doubt that this is the 
plan, and I believe that Austria will come out of the fray 
seriously damaged, but that it may prove the ruin of the 
Emperor Napoleon. The Russians are sure to be busy even 
in Venice. That the whole East is ripe is certain, and hence 
the position which Austria has taken in Belgrade is utterly 
false and mistaken. 8 She is sure to be driven to measures, 
which will furnish France with the pretext for making war. 
The Emperor attend un &v&nement, to use his own phrase. 
The responsibility which he takes upon himself before God is 
frightful.' 

The same day the Prince wrote to Baron Stockmar. His 
opinion that there would be war in the spring had up to this 
time undergone no change : — 

6 Vicky appears to be quite well and cheerful. Clark is 
satisfied with her. With the state of politics it is impossible 
to be so. We shall certainly have war in the spring. 

4 The campaign of Marengo has roused great antipathy in 
the public here, and CQnverted the frenzy for Italian freedom 
and nationality all at once into hostility against the new 
disturber of the peace. This is something that had not 
been calculated on. " Voyez la difference entre la Russie et 
VAngleterre : la demi&re, toujour? tyoiste, me calomnie, me 
maltraite de toute manttre ; V autre veut la paix tout autant 
que VAngleterre, me prie de la respecter, etc., mais ajoute, 

• Austria had taken up the view, contrary to that held by all the other 
signataries to the Treaty of Paris, 1856, that the fortress of Belgrade was ex- 
clusively Turkish ; and had promised to aid the Turkish Government in main- 
taining this opinion by force, if necessary. This would have played into the 
hands of France and Rutsia, both eager for a rupture with Austria, with right 
on their side. 



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362 THE PRINCESS ROYAL 1859 

Si vous devez faire la guerre, mon armSe est la pour tenir 
vos ennemis en Schec. Voila un bon allied 

' The indignation [of the Emperor of the French] at the 
new Prussian Ministry is very great. " During the Italian 
war, the change of Ministry would have been quite right, 
but now it is altogether stupid. It annoys the Russians, who 
are now my friends." 

'The IdSes Napoleoniennes required an ally for their 
accomplishment. England was wholly unsuitable for the 
purpose. The Russian has been found ready and willing; 
the moment is therefore favourable. 

' The Ministry up to this time have not been able to settle 
a Reform Bill. Parliament meets on the 5th. I am weary 
and out of heart.' 

Weary and out of heart as the Prince was, the news which 
reached him by telegram from Berlin, soon after this letter 
was written, were of a kind to make him forget for a time all 
weariness and misgiving. They told him that his daughter 
was the happy mother of a fine boy. Among the numerous 
correspondents, to whom letters about this auspicious event 
had to be written, Baron Stockmar was not likely to be for- 
gotten. To him he wrote (29th January) : — 

4 1 must write a couple of lines to you also. The news 
from Berlin came an hour after my last letter to you had 
been despatched. You will join with me in exclaiming, 
" God be praised and thanked, that He has ordered all things 
so graciously, and may He continue to shield the mother and 
her child ! " The details which the courier brought us yes- 
terday gave us our first information of the severe suffering 
which poor Vicky had undergone, and of the great danger 
in which the child's life had hovered for a time. Here the 
sympathy is general, and in Berlin the rejoicings appear to 
be very great.' 

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1859 DELIVERED OF A SON 363 

Congratulations poured in upon the Queen and Prince from 
every side with a copiousness which showed that the lively 
interest taken throughout the kingdom in the Princess Royal 
at the time of her marriage had in no way abated. ' The joy 
and interest taken here,' the Queen writes to King Leopold, 
1 are as great as in Prussia, which is very gratifying.' To 
this the Prince also refers with obvious pride, in writing to 
the King (2nd February) : — 

c Hearty thanks for your welcome letter and the good 
wishes for our grand-parental honours. The dignity sits 
very well upon us. But how grateful must we be to heaven 
that it has ordered all so graciously ! The danger for the 
child and the sufferings for the mother were serious. Poor 
Fritz and the Prince and Princess must have undergone 
terrible anxiety, as they had no hope of the birth of a living 
child, and their joy over a strong, healthy boy is, therefore, all 
the greater. In Berlin the rejoicing over the birth of an 
(eventual) heir to the throne seems to have been unbounded, 
and even here the sympathy is universal. Vicky seems to be 
recovering well, and so may the All Merciful send a happy 
issue to it all ! ' 9 

King Leopold had thought it due to himself to disabuse the 
mind of the French Sovereign of the absurd but mischievous 
suspicion that he was negotiating a league against France. 
He had therefore written in very explicit terms to the Emperor, 
who in the meantime had learned from the Due de Malakoff, 

• ' Oh ! my dearest Victoria,' the Queen'* sister "wrote (3rd of February) to 
Her Majesty, ' I feel all the anxiety and pain yon must hare suffered. It is so 
dreadful to know what a young creature has to go through — one's own child, 
whom we hare protected from every ill, guarded against every evil ; now we 
must see them in danger, and tortured by pain. Well, thank God ! we maybe 
happy at this moment, the accounts are so good. ... It is delightful to see 
how general the feelings of interest are on this occasion. The papers are full 
of it from all sides and parts of Germany, as well as in England. Oh ! if only 
on all subjects the two nations would feel and act together.' — Letters qf 
Feodora, Princess of Hohenlohe-Langcnburg. 1874. 

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364 LETTER BY THE PRINCE 1859 

his Ambassador at the English Court, and also from Lord 
Cowley, how utterly groundless were his suspicions of the 
Prince Consort in the same direction, and had written a 
letter to King Leopold in reply, admitting that he had 
been mistaken. A copy of this letter had been sent by King 
Leopold to the Prince. In it the Emperor acknowledged, 
that pains had been taken to represent the King to him as 
the promoter of such a league. These rumours, although 
he did not altogether believe them, had, he admitted, made 
an impression on his mind. That it still lingered there was 
apparent from the letter itself ; for it conveyed an intimation, 
how well aware the King must be, that France had always 
since 1815 had before her the phantom of coalitions against 
herself, and that the surest way to rouse her amour propre^ 
and to waken up anew animosities which were even yet not 
wholly extinguished, would be to make her think a league had 
been formed against her independence. Such a league, he 
was persuaded, would never be thought of by a king of so much 
experience, of such admirable judgment, as his correspondent. 
The Prince, whose faith in the sincerity of the Emperor 
was already greatly shaken, had no difficulty in reading be- 
tween the lines of this letter, which, while it implied a menace, 
gave no assurance of the pacific intentions which could alone 
have given tranquillity to Europe. Accordingly he speaks of 
it thus in the letter to the King, from which we have just 
quoted : — 

6 For the Emperor's letter I am sincerely grateful. Un- 
fortunately I can find nothing in it of a tranquillising kind. 
It really contains nothing, gives no assurance as to what he 
will or will not do, but merely takes formal note of the assu- 
rances you have given him, and puts them as capital into his 
pocket. This being so, it is not well to correspond with him,. 

4 We invited the Russians among others to join with 

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1859 TO KING LEOPOLD. 365 

us in counselling peace at Paris. They immediately in- 
formed Walewski that we had done so, adding that " they 
never gave advice where they were not asked to give it; 
moreover, there could be no doubt on which side their sym- 
pathies were ! " . . . 

' Shrewd Pelissier told everybody, people might know 
with certainty whether the Emperor meant to go to war, and 
to take the command in person, if Canrobert were put at the 
head of the Army in Lyons. 10 This, he said, would be his first 
step, for Louis Napoleon wanted some one to carry out details 
for him, but who would be at the same time a compliant 
tool, and never throw any reproaches in his teeth. We shall, 
therefore, have to keep a look-out for this indication. 

' We shall strengthen our fleet greatly, and the Queen's 
Speech will contain a passage about strict adherence to 
Treaties. . . .' 

Meanwhile the friendly personal relations between the 
English and French Courts remained unbroken. A letter 
from the Quden, in answer to that from the Emperor above 
cited (supra, p. 343), announcing the contemplated marriage 
of Prince Napoleon, brought a letter (20th January) from 
the Emperor in reply. In this he said, that the Corps 
Legislatif being on the point of opening about the same time 
as Parliament, he would endeavour to express in his Address 
all the desire 4 1 feel to live always on the footing of a good 
and sincere understanding with the Queen and her Govern- 
ment.' 

In the wavering state of the Emperor's mind, it was thought 
by those about him who were anxious for the maintenance of 
peace, that a letter from the Queen or Prince recommending 

N The Duke of Malakoffhad no liking for the Italian campaign. It seemed 
to him the rashest of adventures ; for, as he openly said, if the French had the 
slightest defeat, ce strait fini de la dynastie — a remark that, however true, 
should scarcely have found its way to his lips. 

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366 LETTER BY THE QUEEN 1859 

him to insert some pacific declaration in the Address would 
be of great use. Nay, it was even thought that he would be 
glad to use it as a golden bridge to retreat from the false 
position in which he had. placed himself. This wish was com- 
municated by Lord Malmesbury to the Queen. The allusion to 
the Address in the Emperor's letter to Her Majesty furnished 
a natural opening for approaching the subject. Moreover, the 
object aimed at was of such vital importance that Her Majesty 
had no hesitation in complying with the request. The tenor of 
what was to be said was arranged with Lord Derby and Lord 
Malmesbury, and Her Majesty wrote as follows, prefacing 
the letter by friendly allusions to family events, such as had 
for some years been habitual in her correspondence with the 
Court of the Tuileries : — 

•Windsor Castle, 4th February, 1859. 

4 Sire and mj dear Brother, — Your Majesty will allow me 
to give you to-day good news of the recovery of our dear 
daughter, and to renew in writing my thanks for your good 
wishes, which I could express but imperfectly by telegraph. 
The details of Victoria's confinement, which we have received 
from Berlin, show that she must have suffered greatly, and 
that the doctors despaired from the first of the child's life, 
which nevertheless soon after his birth was made completely 
safe, to the great joy of the young mother, the father, their 
parents, as well as of the two nations, for I am bound to say 
that the interest taken by the English nation in our daughter 
is always very great. Mother and son are now, thank God, 
doing well. 

' The marriage of Prince Napoleon has taken place sooner 
than your Majesty expected when you last wrote, and the 
prompt return of the young married people to Paris has no 
doubt been a great satisfaction to the Empress and yourself. 11 

11 On the 23rd of January, the hand of the Princess was formally demanded 

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1859 TO THE EMPEROR OF THE FRENCH. 367 

May this marriage realise in every way those gentle affections 
and that home happiness which your Majesty, like ourselves, 
so thoroughly appreciates ! 

4 What the feelings are by which England is animated in 
the interests of the maintenance of peace, your Majesty will 
by this time have seen in the language of all who, since 
the opening of Parliament, have given free expression to their 
opinions on the subject. Their profound anxiety on this point 
is equal to my own. Barely has it been given to any man so 
much as to your Majesty to exercise upon the tranquillity 
and the happiness of Europe an influence so personal and so 
potent, and I cannot conceal from myself, how much the great 
object which we have in view will depend upon the course 
which you may think yourself called upon to take. Your 
Majesty has now an opportunity, either by listening to the 
dictates of humanity and justice, and by showing to the 
world your intention to adhere strictly to the faithful obser- 
vance of treaties, of calming the apprehensions of Europe, 
and of restoring its confidence in the pacific policy of your 
Majesty, or, on the other hand, by lending an ear to those 
who have an interest in creating confusion, of involving 
Europe in a war, whose extent and duration it is scarcely 
possible to foresee, and which, whatever glory it may add to 
the arms of France, cannot but interfere materially with her 
internal prosperity and financial credit. I am satisfied your 
Majesty will not doubt the sincerity of the friendship which 
alone induces me to write thus unreservedly to your Majesty ; 
and if anything could add to the sorrow with which I should 
view the renewal of war in Europe, it would be to see your 
Majesty entering upon a course, with which it would be im- 
possible for England to associate herself. 

* These feelings I know have always been shared by your 

in marriage. On the 30th the marriage was celebrated. On the 3rd of 
February the Prince Napoleon and bin bride came to Paris. 

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368 LETTER BY EMPEROR OF THE FRENCH 1859 

Majesty, and of this your last letter of the 20th gives me a 
fresh and very satisfactory proof. 

* I beg your Majesty to recall me to the gracious remem- 
brance of the Empress, and to receive the kind regards of the 
Prince, as well as the assurance of the sincere friendship with 
which I am, Sire and dear Brother, your Majesty's very affec- 
tionate sister and friend, 

4 Victoria R.' 

This letter drew from the Emperor the following elaborate 
answer: — 

4 Madam and very dear Sister, — Your Majesty was right in 
thinking, that the Empress and myself would feel a deep 
interest in the happy event which has recently filled your 
mother's heart with joy. It was only later that we learned 
the danger run by the Princess Frederick William, and with 
your Majesty we rejoice that you are now fully reassured as 
to the health of the Princess and her son. 

4 It is always with gratitude that I receive the counsels 
which your Majesty is pleased to give me, for I appreciate the 
noble and friendly sentiments from which they spring, but I 
would at the same time ask permission to tell you frankly 
what the state of matters is. The story of what has been 
going on for the last six or eight months is not a little 
curious. 

4 In the course of last summer I received from Italy, and 
particularly from Sardinia, confidential communications, which 
told me, that the disquietude of Italy was such as could not 
fail ere long to lead to insurrections. These were only pre- 
vented from breaking out by the counsels of Piedmont ; never- 
theless the Sardinian Government intimated to me that it 
would be difficult long to maintain this state of things, without 
holding out to the just complaints which reached it a hope of 
early redress ; that the position was one of so much tension, 



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1859 TO THE QUEEN. 369 

that Piedmont would not draw back, even if it saw the way to 
do so, from a war with Austria* I replied that I had always 
felt warmly for Italy, but that my first duty was to my country 
and to its interests ; that the traditional policy of France 
had always been opposed to the exclusive influence of Austria 
in Italy ; that nevertheless my Government could not en- 
courage an aggressive line of conduct on the part of Piedmont, 
nor support her in a struggle in which right would not be 
upon her side, but that, on the other hand, she might rely 
upon being vigorously backed, either if attacked by Austria, 
or if she became involved with this Power in a just and law- 
ful war. 

'These powrparl&rs came to nothing {rteurent pas 
(Tautres suites) ; but towards November last, either because 
the unpopular measures taken by Austria in Italy had roused 
men's minds, or because indiscreet language had been held 
at Turin, or, finally, because a certain party had found its 
interest in disquieting public opinion, certain it is that all at 
once rumours of war were spread on every side, founded both 
upon the condition of people's minds in Italy and upon the state 
of our relations with Austria. In the hope of calming these 
apprehensions I caused it to be announced in the Moniteur 
that there was nothing in our relations with foreign Powers 
to justify such fears. Notwithstanding this, as if under the 
influence of a real panic, everything continued to be construed 
in a warlike sense. The conciliatory words to M. Hubner, 
the despatch to Marseilles of six batteries (without men or 
horses) destined for Algeria, the construction, as an experi- 
ment, of ten gunboats, carrying each one gun, the armament 
of two troop-ships for the Algerine service, the purchase of 
some thousands of artillery-horses to bring their number up to 
the peace footing — finally, the progress made with the recon- 
struction of our artillery equipment begun two years before — 
these were what were taken as so many warlike symptoms ; 

VOL. IV. B B 

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370 LETTER BY EMPEROR OF THE FRENCH 1859 

and, although there was in fact nothing mor^ the per- 
suasion to the contrary is so general, that it would be difficult 
for me to persuade the public in France and abroad, that I 
am not even now making immense preparations for war. And 
yet at this very time simple prudence seems to me to enjoin 
that I should do much more ; for on the one side I cannot 
blind myself to the ill-will that surrounds me, and on the 
other, for the last month I have been urgently appealed to by 
the King of Sardinia to mass 20,000 men upon the Alps, ready 
to come to his assistance, in case of his being attacked by 
the Austrians. 

4 1 am, therefore, in no way responsible either for the 
apprehensions or for the agitation now on foot, and I can 
regard them with indifference. But what wounds me deeply 
as a man and as a sovereign is to see that a mere rumour of 
war, vague and undefined, is sufficient to raise doubts of my 
moderation, and to draw upon me the charge of ambition ; and 
consequently, that with complications beyond the Alps staring 
us in the face, people seem to deny to France by anticipation 
the influence to which she is entitled by her rank among 
nations, as well as by her history. In presence of an imagi- 
nary intervention in the affairs of a country which touches 
our frontiers, all Germany seems of a mind to enter into 
a league against France, and to dispute even her most legiti- 
mate action. Did Germany intervene in our embroilment 
with Russia? Or did Europe intervene when Germany 
upheld the cause of Holstein against Denmark ? 

' 1 admit to your Majesty that this attitude of Germany 
sets me thinking deeply, and that I see in it great danger 
for the future, for I shall always respect the Treaties. I 
know that they cannot be changed except by general assent ; 
but respect for treaties does not run counter to my duty, 
which is to follow always the policy that is most in harmony 
with the honour and the interests of my country. 

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1859 TO THE QUEEN. 371 

' Nevertheless, I hope that the alliance with your Majesty 
will always be maintained. Two great countries may remain 
friends, although their interest in all questions may not be 
identical, provided the action of each shall have been settled 
by a preliminary understanding, in accordance with the dic- 
tates of its political interests. 

4 Your Majesty will, I hope, forgive me this long letter. 
But I felt bound to lay all my thoughts before you, and you 
will see in it a fresh proof of my desire to find myself in accord 
with your Majesty, and of the great value I attach to your 
opinion and advice. 

* I beg you to recall me to the remembrance of the Prince, 
and to believe in the sentiments of high esteem and sincere 
friendship with which I am 

' Your Majesty's good brother and friend, 

6 Napoleon.' 

•Palace of the Tuileriee, 14th February, 1859.' 

When the Prince read this letter, his thoughts might natu- 
rally have reverted to an observation made by the Emperor to 
the Queen during her visit to Paris — c Louis-Philippe n'est 
pas tombS a cause de son alliance avec PAngleterre, mais 
parce qu'U rC&tait pas sincere avec VAngleterre ' (ante, vol. 
iii. p. 332). That the Emperor was sincere in wishing for 
a close and cordial alliance with England was scarcely open 
to doubt. He had proved it by his acts ; and his interests, no 
less than his personal feelings, were a guarantee for his sin- 
cerity in this direction. But could the Prince feel equally 
assured of that higher sincerity, which would justify him in 
believing that there were no reserves, no misleading sugges- 
tions in the Emperor's language to the Queen ? The Prince 
knew too much even now of the arrangements secretly con- 
cluded with Sardinia, as well as of what was being done in 
France to prepare for war, to accept without reservation the 
colouring given to both in the Emperor's letter. He had, 

B B 2 

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372 THE EMPEROR OF THE FRENCH. 1859 

moreover, read the Emperor's character too thoroughly in the 
unreserved discussions which had passed between them, not 
to see that he was now entirely dominated by his dream of a 
readjustment of the distribution of European States, and that 
he was concealing his plans from one by whom, he knew, they 
were regarded as no less dangerous to himself and his dynasty, 
than to the peace of Europe, and the happiness of the myriads 
to whom war means suffering and misery and death. To 
be sincere in such circumstances was impossible ; but with- 
out sincerity, absolute sincerity in word and in act, no man, 
and especially no sovereign, could ever hope to command the 
esteem or confidence of the Prince Consort. 



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373 



CHAPTER XCL 

Although the public attention was chiefly taken up with the 
precarious aspect of affairs abroad, it had been led to expect 
that the question of Parliamentary Reform would occupy a 
prominent place in the Ministerial programme. Mr. Bright, 
after a silence of nearly two years, caused by severe illness, 
had in October signalised his first appearance before his 
constituents at Birmingham by a speech in which he had 
urged the necessity of sweeping changes in the electoral 
system with a vehemence which had startled even advanced 
Liberals, and alarmed those who were fearful of letting the 
question pass into the hands of democratic agitators. The 
country generally was lukewarm on the subject ; but the time 
for some enlargement of the measure of 1831 had manifestly 
come, and no Ministry could hope to avoid dealing with it. 

Whatever measure Lord Derby's Ministry might propose 
was sure to be challenged by Lord John Russell and others, 
who looked upon themselves as having a sort of exclusive right 
to guide the public mind upon the question, and who would 
not fail to cast discredit upon it by impugning the sincerity 
of a party whose Conservatism, it was their habit to allege, , 
consisted among other things in antagonism to my widening 
of the electoral area. On the other hand, a broad and compre- 
hensive scheme of Reform, if brought forward by the Govern- 
ment, would alienate the more nervous of their own supporters. 
It was on this side, indeed, that their greatest danger lay ; 
and from this side it came. Even before their measure wan 

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374 OPENING OF PARLIAMENT. 1859 

introduced, a blow was struck at any possible success which 
it might have achieved by the secession of Mr. Walpole and 
Mr. Henley, two of the most respected members of the 
Ministry, on the ground that the contemplated measure 
went further than they considered to be either safe, or com- 
patible with the principles of their party, 1 Opinion, as the 
event showed, was still far from being matured as to the 
shape which the reforms should take, that yet were felt to be 
needed ; but such was the state of parties, that the fall of 
the Ministry, had they failed to attempt a solution of the 
prdblem, was quite as certain as if they failed to grapple 
with it successfully. 

On the 3rd of February Parliament was opened by the 
Queen in person. The Prince records the reception given to 
Her Majesty as having been most cordial, and, in the excited 
state of the public mind at the moment, it was naturally 
more demonstrative than usual. The Queen's Speech inti- 
mated the intention of the Government to introduce a Reform 
Bill. But the passages which created the greatest interest 
were — one in which a temporary increase of expenditure was 
recommended for the application of steam-power to the Navy, 
on which it was observed at the time that the Queen dwelt 
with marked expression, 9 and another in which Her Majesty 
announced that she continued to receive from all foreign 
Powers assurances of their friendly feelings. ' To cultivate 
and confirm these feelings,' Her Majesty added, * to maintain 
inviolate the faith of public treaties, and to contribute, so 
far as my influence can extend, to the preservation of the 
general peace, are the objects of my unceasing solicitude,' 

1 'It was one/ said Mr. Walpole, speaking in the House of Commons 
(1st March, 1859), 'which we would all of ns hare stoutly opposed, if either 
Lord Palmerston or Lord John Russell had brought it forward.' 

* No more than one million extra was asked for under this head. Bat this 
went far to repair the shortcomings in our fleet, which, as we hare shown, had 
for some time caused serious anxiety to the Queen and Prince. 

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1859 DEBATE ON THE ADDRESS. 375 

It has been shown that these words from Her Majesty's lips 
had upon this occasion a peculiar significance, neither were 
they without a marked effect in the quarter to which all 
knew them to be pointed. 'I think,' Her Majesty had 
written the day before to King Leopold, 'that the speech 
will do good, but it has not been easy to frame it, as the 
feeling here against the Emperor is very strong. I think yet, 
that if Austria is strong and well prepared, and Germany 
strong and well inclined towards us, — as Prussia certainly 
is — France will not be so eager to attempt what I firmly 
believe would end in the Emperor's downfall.' 8 

If the Emperor of the French still entertained any lingering 
belief in the sympathy of England with his designs in Italy, 
it must have been dispelled by the discussion in both Houses 
of Parliament upon the Address. Lord Granville deprecated 
a war arising out of the Italian question, as * a great Euro- 
pean war, of which no man could possibly see the end.' Had 
he been one of themselves, he could not have used language 
fitter to describe the line Ministers had followed than when 
he said : — 

' If Ministers can say, that during the course of these events 
they have spoken equally to Austria, to Sardinia, and to France 
in the firm, candid, and friendly manner in which they were 
entitled to speak, avoiding any unnecessary or irritating menace 
on the one hand, but on the other declaring their steady con- 
viction that the maintenance of existing treaties is necessary to 
the peace and tranquillity of the future ; and if, in addition, they 
have entered into no engagements whatever, binding this country 
to take any course at any time other than the honour of England 
and the welfare of Europe may demand : in that case I am sure 
Her Majesty's Government will receive the hearty support of 
the people — a support that will enable them to speak with 

• What Her Majesty had before her mind, in so writing, was doubtless 
the apprehension that success in Italy would be the first step to such an attempt 
on too Rhenish prorinces as actually did cause the Emperor's downfall* 



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376 DEBATE ON THE ADDRESS. 1859 

greater force and influence in any difficult circumstances that 
may hereafter arise.' 

The language of Lord Palmerston was even more explicit, 
and, so well known was his wish for the expulsion of the 
Austrians from Italy, that it carried greater weight. Speak- 
ing of the Treaty of Vienna, he said : — 

' At all events, right or wrong, that was an arrangement in 
which the Great Powers of Europe concurred, and they sanc- 
tioned it by treaty ; and I humbly submit that no Power could 
violate that treaty by attempting, without reason or cause, to 
dispossess Austria of what that treaty gave her. Treaties ought 
to be respected. If any theoretical preference were to set aside 
the stipulations in any treaty, all the affairs of Europe would be 
at sea, and it would be impossible to tell the conclusion to which 
such a principle would lead. . . . The beginning of a war is no 
light thing. It is easy to begin it ; it is impossible to say what 
will be its limits. War between two such great Powers as Austria 
and France may begin about the possession of Lombardy, but to 
say who may be ultimately involved in that contest is beyond 
the sagacity of man. ... To commence such a war would be 
to involve Europe in calamities which it would be difficult to 
describe, for a cause which, however in the abstract desirable, 
would by no means justify such a war.' 

These weighty words, which were echoed by Lord John 
Russell, produced a visible effect at the Tuileries. The 
absence of all enthusiasm, or even interest, shown in Paris 
about Prince Napoleon and his bride on their arrival on the 
same day (3rd of February) from Turin, had made it clear 
beyond a doubt, that the alliance was a matter of indifference 
to the Parisians, and was not likely to make them forego any 
of the dislike to war in the interests of Piedmont, which they 
in common with the rest of the country had been loud in 
expressing. The Queen's letter, moreover, had worked upon 
the impressible nature of the Emperor. Above all, he must 
have been startled by the distrust of himself shown by his 



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i859 OPENING OF FRENCH CHAMBERS. 377 

English Allies, who, with all their avowed detestation of the op- 
pression and misrule of which the Italian States had been so 
long the victims, were driven by this distrust into becoming 
openly averse to any interference with Austrian rule in Italy. 
It was obviously necessary to temporise with the prevailing 
feeling, and to wait for some more favourable moment for ful- 
filling the pledge of active assistance, to which the King of 
Sardinia and Cavour held the Emperor bound. 

On the 7th of February the French Chambers were opened 
by the Emperor in person. In a lengthened Speech he sought 
to allay the ' vague anxiety,' the i distrust and the alarm,' 
which, he said, had * possessed themselves of certain minds, 
and shaken public confidence.' Again he renewed the Bor- 
deaux declaration, that 'the Empire was peace,' and pro- 
tested that the system of peace, which he had inaugurated, 
i could not be disturbed, except for the defence of great 
national interests.' Avowing that the state of Italy, where 
order could not be maintained except by foreign troops, had 
justly disquieted diplomacy, he urged, that this * was not a 
sufficient motive for believing in war. Away, then,' he con- 
cluded, 'with these false alarms, these unjust suspicions, 
these interested apprehensions I Peace, I hope, will not be 
disturbed.' 

The commentary made by the Prince in his Diary on read- 
ing this Address was brief but full of meaning. 'The 
Emperor Napoleon has opened his Chambers with a Speech, 
which can in no way set either Europe or France at rest. 
It is meant to look peaceful.' The fact remained that, how- 
ever peaceful it looked, the Piedmontese Government had 
only two days before given notice of their intention to con- 
tract a loan of fifty millions of francs, and that the military 
preparations of France were now being pushed on more 
vigorously than ever. 
The Prince's distrust was rapidly confirmed. Within less 

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378 INFLUENCE OF SECRET ARRANGEMENT 1859 

than a week from the time the Emperor had spoken, a letter 
was addressed by the French Minister of the Interior to the 
Pr&ets of the Departments, directing them to reoommend the 
country, through the press, to follow the Emperor blindly into 
any war he might undertake. Moreover, within a day or two 
after a copy of this letter reached the English Foreign Office, 
information was received from our Ambassador at Turin, that 
Prince de la Tour d'Auvergne, the French Minister at that 
Court, had gone to Paris, finding that he received one set of 
instructions from the Emperor all pointing to war, and another 
of an exactly opposite character from Count Walewski, the 
Minister of Foreign Affairs. 4 Count Walewski, it is now well 
known, was as much in the dark as to his master's engage- 
ments to Piedmont as the rest of the world. He had all 
along been hostile to the idea of a war, and now, regarding 
the Emperor's Address as a new point of departure, he had 
been urging peace at Turin, where the Emperor's language 
had already created indignation, and alarm that he was about 
to leave his Allies there to fight out their dispute with 
Austria alone. When the Emperor's Speech reached them, 
instant pressure was put upon him, both by the King of Sardinia 
and by Count Cavour ; and it had a visible effect in modify- 
ing the pacific views which had seemed to be uppermost 
with him since the arrival of the Queen's letter. * I fear,' 
Lord Cowley wrote (19th of February) to Lord Malmesbury, 
* that there is an undercurrent at work of which Walewski 
is not aware ; Russia and Sardinia, I cannot help thinking, 
urging the Emperor on, telling him that it is all very well, but 
tha,t he has nothing to fear either from England or Germany ; 
and that, provided he confines his operations to Italy, qu'on 
le laissera favre.' 

4 When the Prince de la Tour d'Auvergne returned to Turin from Pane, 
he said to a friend, * Non-ssulsment nous prendrons la premiere occasion a fair* 
la guerre, mats nous chereherons un prttexte.' — Sir James Hudson to lard 
Malmesbury, 28th of February, 1859. 

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1859 BETWEEN FRANCE AND SARDINIA. 379 

What was the nature of this undercurrent, was not long 
left to surmise, for within a few days a letter from the King 
of Sardinia to the Emperor found its way from the Court 
circle of Turin into the AUgemeine Zeitung, which could 
leave no doubt as to the existence of a promise by the French 
Emperor to give armed support to Piedmont* In this letter 
the King said that, if for reasons of internal policy, France 
should now abandon the cause of Italy, such a desertion 
would be a thousand times more mischievous for Sardinia 
than the loss of the battle of Novara. 

* In the face of such an event/ the King added, * which I look 
upon as impossible, nothing wonld be left me bat to follow the 
example of my father, King Charles Albert, and to lay down a 
crown which I could no longer wear with honour to myself or 
with safety for my people. Constrained to renounce the throne 
of my ancestors, what I owe to myself, to the renown of my 
race, and to the welfare of my country, would impose upon me 
the duty of letting the world know the reasons which had driven 
me to make so deplorable a sacrifice.' 

After the direct advances which had been made to Prussia 
by France, with the view of inducing her to hold aloof from 
Austria in any eventuality, the Prince Begent could entertain 
no doubt as to the real intentions of the Emperor of the 
French, Naturally anxious to know what part England 
would take in the event of the war assuming wider proportions, 
he despatched Count Perponcher to London to open com- 
munications with the English Government. At the same time 
he wrote to the Prince Consort, fully explaining the view of 
the situation taken by himself, and asking for his advice. 
This advice, he said, would ' be decisive for us,' — words which 
mark conclusively the value which had by this time come to 
be set upon the Prince's judgment among the statesmen of 
Europe. 5 

* « It is said/ M. de Masade writes (Fie du Gomte de Cavour, p. 223), 'that 
during the interview at Plombieres, the Emperor, then under the illusion of 



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38o LETTER OF PRINCE REGENT OF PRUSSIA 1859 

* Events,' the Prince Regent wrote, ' have been only too 
frequent within the last few weeks, which force upon us the 
question, What political constellation will the proximate future 
faring us ? and how will England and Prussia be placed in it ? 

' I used to compare the political position of Napoleon with 
regard to Italy with that of a player at " Zweckmiihle," who 
moves the winning stone to and fro till the time comes to 
strike the decisive blow. Every day shows more and more 
the aptness of the simile. The necessity for this decisive 
blow (viz. his going to war) I always expected would arise 
when he should see no other means of keeping himself on his 
throne. I cannot see that this is the case at the present 
moment. Something else must therefore be the motive 
power, and I believe it may be shortly expressed by the words, 
" La Ouerre ou le poignard" not the French but the Italian 
poignard. But is this a sufficient motive for a war ? Un- 
fortunately the Italian dagger seems to have become an Idee 
fixe with Napoleon. It made him stretch out his feelers, and 
try where to find allies upon whom he could count. He 
appears to have drawn them quickly back when he found 
there were no sympathies anywhere with a proceeding, for 
which none of the Cabinets, calm, prudent, and unmoved 
by passion as they are, could see a reason. What seems to 
have surprised him most is, that in England there should not 
— at least for the present — be any sympathies for this kind 
of support to be given to the Italians. I believe that the 
saying will again prove true of him : " R recule bien pour le 
moment, mais il riabandonne jamais!" And this shows 
us the position we ought to take, — " to be vigilant and to 
come to an understanding with one another." 

his own omnipotence, said to Cavour, — "Do you know, there are but three 
men in Europe, we two, And a third, whom I will not name ? " Who was this 
third person ? He has remained unknown.' May not the Prince Consort hare 
been in the Emperor's mind? All we know of his estimate of the Prince points 
in this direction. 

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1859 * TO THE PRINCE CONSORT. 381 

' This understanding must first and foremost he directed 
towards removing any cause for war, and therefore to exhort 
to peace. We are, moreover, moved to take this course by 
the decision of the last Treaty of Paris. 

' The pretext for a war in Italy is to be the form of govern- 
ment of the different States. But the true cause is Sardinia's 
desire for aggrandisement. And Governments, which are 
not concerned with the matter, are asked to take part in it. 
Where is the statute of international law to be found, that 
teaches us to wage war against a State, because we do not 
like its form of government ? Or are we compelled to aid 
the unjustifiable desire for aggrandisement of one State at 
the cost of another ? 

4 There is also another reason which will drive Napoleon 
into war, viz. his opinion that a Napoleonide must break 
through the Treaties of 1815, whenever an opportunity for 
doing so arises. To this there is a simple answer, that all 
the other Governments are called upon to ensure the main- 
tenance of these Treaties. If France be perfectly convinced 
of this, she will think twice before going to war. 

' But, on the other hand, Austria must also be exhorted to 
desist from taking any provoking steps in Italy. " Whoever 
provokes wantonly will not easily find allies!" This is a 
standing phrase of mine with foreign diplomatists here ; it 
expresses my firm conviction. 

* Now the question arises for Prussia : What is she to do 
if France assists Italy in a conflict with Austria? Public 
opinion has for the last four weeks expressed itself throughout 
Germany in such a decided manner against France in case of 
such an emergency, that one cannot shut one's eyes to the 
fact. And herewith Prussia's line of action would seem to 
be clearly marked out ; for the wars of the Revolution have 
shown us that, should the French arms be victorious, they 
would soon be turned against Germany and Prussia, if they 

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382 LETTER BY THE PRINCE CONSORT 1859 

had remained neutral and had quietly looked on at all the 
disasters of Austria. 

' But what would be our position, if England should declare 
in favour of France and thereby of Italy in such a war ? And 
further, what are we to do, if Russia should threaten to join 
such an Anglo-French alliance ? Would not such an alliance 
force a neutrality (though an armed one) upon Germany and 
Prussia? 

4 On the other hand, suppose that England and Russia 
should remain neutral, and Austria be victorious against the 
Franco-Italian alliance, while Germany and therefore Prussia 
remained idle spectators — how greatly would Austria be 
raised in the eyes of the world, and especially of Germany ? 
Can this be a matter of indifference to Prussia ? 

* How are we to escape the dangers of such alternatives ? 
This question I put to you. I most anxiously await your 
answer, for it will be decisive for us.' 

This letter was sent as a matter of course to Lord Malmes- 
bury, and by him to Lord Derby. With their approval it 
was answered by the Prince, who, it will be seen, while care- 
fully referring the Prince Regent to the Government for the 
only practical answer to his questions, took the opportunity 
to enforce upon his correspondent the importance of trusting, 
not to arrangements with other Powers, but to a frank and 
cordial understanding and sympathy with his own people : — 

« Windsor Castle, 7th February, 1869. 
4 My dear Cousin, — You have given us the greatest 
pleasure by sending Count Perponcher here. He has been 
able to tell us a great deal about Berlin, and to observe and 
learn not a little here, for his visit has fallen at a critical 
moment in the political world. I owe you thanks especially 
for your kind and confidential lines, and I catch eagerly at 
your motto, " Vigilance and a mutual understanding." 

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1859 TO THE PRINCE REGENT OF PRUSSIA. 3S3 

'The views which you express as to the course of the 
recent complications, and as to the projects and character of 
the Emperor Napoleon, I regard as so thoroughly sound and 
true, that I subscribe to every word of them, and am de- 
lighted to see how we have arrived at the same results from 
two different points of view. 

* In asking for my views as to the steps to be taken in 
certain eventualities, and adding that my answer will decide 
your action, you impose a very heavy task upon me as well 
as a terrible responsibility. Nevertheless, this shall not deter 
me from letting you read my thoughts, begging you, how- 
ever, to regard them as purely personal to myself. The 
Ministry will clothe theirs in their own language, and what 
they think can only be expressed through their own organs. 

' When Frederick the Great asked old Ziethen what was 
to be done under certain circumstances, Ziethen scratched 
his head, and after thinking for a while, answered his master : 
" Set me face to face with the enemy, and I will tell you." 
Well, although I cannot pretend to compare myself to the 
old hero, I feel just as he did the difficulty of coming to a 
decision about mere eventualities I For these eventualities 
scarcely ever arise, precisely in the way calculated on, and even 
when they do arise, there is generally something to control 
the judgment in the " How " and " When," so that the same 
eventuality does not necessarily lead up to the same conclu- 
sion. The prudent statesman will, therefore, find his strength 
in coming to a decision upon no more than one step, and 
that the one which the immediate occasion demands, 
waiting to see the effect produced, for his guidance in 
deciding what step to take next. 

6 Looking from the Prussian and European point of view, 
you seem to me to have hitherto done the right thing. You 
have warned France courteously, and Austria also, not to 
offer provocation, and rested the policy of Prussia upon the 

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384 LETTER BY THE PRINCE CONSORT 1859 

ground of existing Treaties. England has met you on the 
same ground, and our language is the same to the letter, our 
accord perfect. 

'A short time ago all sorts of different opinions existed 
here, but time and public discussion have created an entire 
unanimity in the popular mind, under the influence of which 
Lord Palmerston and Lord John Russell felt they had no 
alternative but to become the echo of Lord Derby. Had you 
fourteen days back asked me the opinion of England, I could 
not have answered you in the decisive terms which the 
Queen's Speech and the Parliamentary discussion upon it 
now enable me to do. Now I can say, that I regard the 
contingency which you put, that England might go with 
France, as one that is no longer possible, not even although 
Austria were to commit the grossest blunders, which there 
is absolutely no security she will not do. In that case, 
however, the position of Prussia and Germany would not 
be so unlike our own, for even Prussia would not, from 
merely political considerations, draw the sword on the side 
of wrong. 

* What I have just indicated proves, however, wherein the 
real strength and security of governments in these days lie, 
namely, in public opinion formed and enlightened by free 
discussion. In that is to be sought the guiding star, and 
also the warrant for the action of governments. That her 
language shall be loud and firm is the one main essential 
for Prussia's safety and strength. My advice to you would 
therefore be, Call this power into play ; this it is, which will 
keep France and Russia in check, unite Germany, and place 
the ultimate decision in your hands. Free discussion in the 
press upon Napoleon's designs, accord in feeling by reason 
of this freedom of discussion with Switzerland, Belgium, and 
England, a courteous waving aside of all demands from 
Paris that your Government shall be responsible for the press. 

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i859 TO THE PRINCE REGENT OF PRUSSIA. 385 

It is the public opinion of England that Napoleon dreads ; 
it is the German rising in 1813, which lingers as a warning 
phantom in the memory of the French. It was the popular 
voice in 1840 {Sie eoUen ihn nickt haben r &a.) which then 
scared France from her Oriental policy \ it has, so far as it 
exists, not been without its effect within the last few weeks, 
and Napoleon has undoubtedly recoiled before it. While 
rallying this power to myself, I should continue to use 
extreme moderation, to negotiate little, to enter into explana- 
tions still less, but above all to hold stoutly by the mainte- 
nance of existing Treaties, and in Germany to urge the 
organisation of the Confederate forces, justifying this to 
France by the uncertainty as to what she may be led into 
through a conflict with Italy. In the case of war breaking 
out, I should place the army upon a war footing, and occupy 
the fortresses, giving at the same time friendly assurances to 
all the Courts. Even although Austria should be attacked 
in Italy by France, prudence would dictate that the struggle 
should not, without absolute necessity, be drawn towards the 
Rhine. Should Austria prove victorious, then I do not see 
how Prussia should be thereby forced into the background in 
Germany. 

4 Prussia never had any Italian possessions, and has not 
for the last forty years followed the perverse policy which 
has brought that country into its present wretched state. 
By her state of preparation Prussia will have kept France in 
check, and set a brilliant example by the prompt declaration 
of her readiness, if the necessity arose, to fulfil her duty as 
a brother State without flinching. Should Austria come to 
grief in the campaign, strong as she is in her military posi- 
tion, this can scarcely result in a general deroute, and 
Prussia and Germany — if they felt politically justified in 
such a step — would always have time to take part in the war 
with advantage, before France could have so cleared her 

VOL. iv. c c 

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386 WELLINGTON COLLEGE. 1859 

bands of the Austrians that she could launch all her force 
against Germany. 

4 To any Eussian demonstration it would be well to oppose 
a Corps of Observation. In France they count on availing 
themselves of a possible sudden intervention in respect to 
Schleswig, to engage the Danish and Swedish fleet in the 
possible war against Prussia, which in connection with that 
of Russia would be a serious menace to the Prussian coast. 
I tell you this, because I know it for certain. 

6 To come back to England. What she will do, I cannot 
tell. For the moment the wish is general, to keep out of 
a contest about Austria in Italy. Should this contest spread, 
then it will bring into play new interests, and new feelings, 
and these will have a determining influence upon any ulterior 
decision. That die can keep permanently out of the struggle, 
no statesman of experience believes.' 

Two days after this letter was written (9th February) the 
Prince visited Wellington College, which had been opened by 
the Queen on the 29th of January. He had all along taken 
a most active interest in the establishment of the College: 
not only did he expend great pains in the selection of the 
site, and in watching over the construction and arrangements 
of the building, but he also gave much thought and study to 
the framing of the rules for the future management of the 
Institution. He now still further testified his interest in this 
memorial of ' the good Duke,' by presenting a library for the 
use of the boys, selected by himself, and which formed 
the nucleus of the excellent library now belonging to the 
College. 

Some time before the Prince had done a similar service for 
Aldershot, where he built at his own expense a library for the 
officers' use, and enriched it with a collection, as complete as 
he could make it, of every work of value on military history 

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i8s9 ALDERSHOT 'PRINCE CONSORT'S LIBRARY: 387 

or science. Besides presenting to this library his own very 
extensive collection of works of this class, no labour or expense 
was spared in obtaining from abroad whatever was required 
to make the collection complete. Many thousands of pounds 
were spent by the Prince out of his limited income on this 
object, which he had very much at heart, foreseeing, what the 
campaigns of 1866 and 1870 were to prove, that military 
science would be a chief, if not decisive agent, in any future 
European war. Since his death the Queen has not only 
provided from her Privy Purse for the efficient custody and 
maintenance of the library for daily use, but added to it 
every new work of importance. It is called 'The Prince 
Consort's Library,' and is an immense boon to all officers who 
choose to make a study of their profession, containing, as it 
does, works which, from their size, rarity, or great cost, are 
beyond the reach of military men. 

While thinking of those on whom the responsibility rests of 
conducting military operations under the difficult conditions 
of modern warfare, the Queen and Prince were no less mindful 
of the rank and file of the army. During the Crimean War, 
they provided at their own cost a very extensive library for 
the soldiers. At the end of the war, this library was divided. 
One portion of it was sent to Aldershot, and another to Dublin, 
as the two great military centres. They are known as the 
Victoria Soldiers' Libraries, and have, since the Prince's death, 
been kept up by the Queen in full efficiency. As in the 
other cases mentioned, the selection of books for these libraries 
was made by the Prince himself. Their extent may be judged 
of by the fact, that the catalogue of that in Dublin, printed 
in 1872, contains close on twelve hundred volumes. Since 
then considerable additions have been made to both. 

How much time and labour were devoted to useful objects 
of this kind, of which the world knew nothing, it would be 
difficult to estimate. The days were all too short for the work 

c c 2 

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388 LETTER BY THE PRINCE CONSORT 1859 

he had to put into them. Writing at this time (9th Feb- 
ruary) to his daughter at Berlin, he glances at the busy life, 
which had made the nineteen years since his marriage pass 
with seeming swiftness : — 

* It was a year yesterday since you made your entry into 
Berlin, and nineteen years since I made mine into London. 
I have felt my nineteen years go by not much more slowly 
than you have felt your one. How will it be, after the next 
nineteen years ? A question without answer, and therefore 
merely sentimental and totally useless. 9 

The next day, the anniversary of the Queen's marriage, 
was celebrated by a great concert in the evening at Windsor 
Castle in St. George's Hall. To Baron Stockmar, ever present 
to the Prince's mind on that day, he wrote as follows : — 

c Although I have no leisure, i.e. no combination of time 
with rest, still I cannot leave unanswered your welcome 
letter of the 3rd, which gave me great pleasure, as a sign 
that you were vigorous both in mind and body. 

i I write to you on our marriage day, which has come 
round for the nineteenth time, and am penetrated at the 
thought of this by gratitude to a gracious Providence, who 
has so visibly blessed our union. With this are mingled 
feelings of thankfulness towards yourself for the unwearying 
friendship of which you have during this period given me 
so many weighty proofs in word and deed. If you keep a 
watchful hand over our child in Berlin, you can give us in 
the evening of your life no greater proof of your friendship. 

4 In face of the warlike propensities of the Empire, qui est 
la Paix, the nation as well as Parliament has behaved 
admirably. The pamphlet NapoUon et Vltalie* and the 

• This pamphlet, written by M. de la Gueronniere, and revised by the 
Emperor, appeared on the }%t of February. Its whole scope and purpose were 



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1 859 TO BARON STOCK MAR. 389 

Imperial Speech from the throne form together a pair of 
remarkable documents. In Paris the public seem to be 
furious at being treated from the very throne with contempt 
for putting one and two together and getting three as the 
product ; and seeing what care has been taken to avoid all 
express promises not to break the peace, and to respect 
existing treaties, they are in no way satisfied with the 
Speech, neither are they ready to go back to work, as the 
Speech enjoins them. 

' Count Perponcher was instructed to demand clear ex- 
planations here as to what England will do in certain even- 
tualities. You know that such explanations are never given 
here, and will not therefore be surprised that they were not 
to be had on the present occasion. On the other hand, I 
have laid the whole state of things here in detail before the 
Regent so frankly and conscientiously, that he may draw his 
own conclusions with certainty, not withholding from him at 
the same time my advice as to the position of Prussia, which 
is summed up in this : "Be German, be National (Volto- 
thurrUich) j(in the good and noble sense), and you will be 
strong, and walk securely." 

'All the secret stipulations in the world with this Court or 
that are not to be compared with the security which is given 
by a frank understanding and accord with your own people 
and with public opinion. This, moreover, gives confidence 
to the public opinion of other countries when it is in unison 
with your own, and inspires awe when it is at variance with 
it. 

i The Prince of Wales seems to be happy in Rome.' 

On the 13th of February, Lord Derby laid before the 
Queen the Government scheme of Reform, coupling it with 
the announcement that Mr. Walpole and Mr. Henley wished 

to justify the war on Austria in Italy, and to prepare the minds of the French 
public for it. 



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390 SOUTH KENSINGTON MUSEUM. 1859 

to resign. Their resignations were accepted, not without 
regret, as in the present critical posture of affairs abroad a 
Ministerial crisis was most undesirable. 

Next day the Court moved from Windsor to London. On 
the 16th the Prince writes to his daughter at Berlin : — 

6 We are now established in town, and the first place I 
went to yesterday was the South Kensington Museum, where 
two additional galleries have been built of two hundred to 
three hundred feet in length, and twice the breadth of the 
Sheepshanks Gallery, for the reception of the Vernon and 
Turner galleries from Marlborough House, which latter be- 
comes Bertie's property in November. The pictures will be 
excellently seen, and the whole gallery has been built in six 
weeks for 3,000£., of brick, with fire-proof floors. Mr. Cole 
is still in Italy. 

4 The Society of Arts has projected an Exhibition like 
that of 1851 for the year 1861, but now it comes to me and 
to the Commission to carry it out, which is quite another 
matter. We shall discuss the subject on Saturday at the 
Commission, where it is sure to give rise to no small amount 
of tiresome " pros and cons." * 

Overwhelmed as he was with business of all kinds, the 
Prince might well hesitate about again embarking in the 
preparation of another Great Exhibition. 



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39i 



CHAPTER XCII. 

When the Emperor of the French wrote to the Queen his 
letter of the 14th of February, the universal unpopularity 
throughout France of a war in Italy seems to have for the 
time shaken his resolution. At all events this was the im- 
pression which he conveyed to Lord Cowley. Count Walewski 
confidently declared his conviction that the crisis was now 
over, and announced his master's readiness to accept the good 
offices of England in endeavouring to negotiate with Austria 
a basis of arrangement. This negotiation the Emperor 
wished to be entrusted to Lord Cowley, * as the most likely 
mode of arriving at a good result ; ' and he put in writing 
under his own hand the heads of such an arrangement as he 
was prepared to accept. 

The prospects of a negotiation of this kind were not, it is 
true, very hopeful ; but it was felt by the English Cabinet 
that no effort should be spared to maintain peace, and, as the 
suggestion came from the Emperor himself, they were the 
more disposed to fall in with it. Accordingly, Lord Cowley 
came over to London at once (19th February), to arrange with 
the Government here the line of action to be taken. ' The 
great point for us to keep in mind,' the Prince wrote to Lord 
Malmesbury (18th February), 'must be not to assume the 
position of mediators without being sure that we are accepted 
as such by both parties.' Communications from Vienna soon 
set this point at rest, and Lord Cowley proceeded thither, 
bearing with him, as his credentials, an autograph letter of 



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392. LETTER BY THE QUEEN 1859 

the Queen to the Emperor of Austria, of which we translate 
the material passages : — 

4 You will have seen, Sire,' Her Majesty wrote, * both from 
the principles to which I have given expression in my Speech 
at the opening of Parliament, and by the attitude of Par- 
liament itself, what are the sentiments which animate the 
country and my Government. These sentiments have under- 
gone no change. They impose upon me the duty of neglecting 
no effort for the maintenance of the general peace. I have 
anxiously weighed the circumstances by which it seems to be 
menaced, and I find in them nothing which ought not to be 
surmounted by diplomatic wisdom, if only the principal 
parties concerned shall be animated by the mutual desire to 
give it free and fair scope. The state of Italy is what really 
constitutes the danger by which we are threatened ; but even 
this danger would not be such as to imperil the general tran- 
quillity, but for the existence of an antagonism excited by the 
engagements, real or supposed, of Austria and of France. 

6 For my part I am convinced, that this supposed divergence 
of interests and engagements is capable of being reconciled, 
if the inquiry be entered upon frankly, and with the intention 
to avoid the calamities of war. I quite understand that, in 
a certain delicate posture of affairs, it is difficult for Great 
Powers to take an initiative which might be construed as a 
weakness or a concession. It has in these circumstances 
seemed to me that I, as the mutual friend of the two Sove- 
reigns, and having, as I have, no personal interest, might 
tender my good offices, and, perhaps, find in this way certain 
bases on which the parties interested might open amicable 
negotiations relative to the questions which threaten serious 
results. 

6 On examining these questions with the liveliest desire to 
use for the general interest whatever influence I may possess, 

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1859 TO THE EMPEROR OF AUSTRIA. 393 

I have thought that my Ambassador at Paris, who is thoroughly 
acquainted with the views of the Court where he represents 
me, and in whom I have entire confidence, might be usefully 
charged with a mission purely confidential, and to which 
nothing of an official character is attached. This mission 
would have for its object to discover, whether it is possible to 
offer suggestions which might be mutually acceptable as the 
basis of ulterior arrangements, and be thereafter presented 
simultaneously to both parties as expressing the ideas of a 
common friend.' 

Such was the position of affairs, when the Prince wrote the 
following letter (22nd of February) to Baron Stockmar : — 

'. . . In politics the aspect of affairs is still very 
troubled. The wrath of the Emperor Napoleon is now 
directed against Germany ; and he cannot comprehend how 
it ventures to have an opinion on the Italian question, and 
to take up a position hostile to his policy. " Cela me fait 
profondiment reflechir, viz. cette attitude de VAllemagne, 
et fy voi8 pour Vavenir de grands dangers? he writes to 
the Queen, " car je respecterai toujours lee trait&s. Je sens 
qu'ils ne peuvent etre changes que d?un commun aecord 9 
mais le respect des traitis riest pas en opposition avec mon 
devoir, qui est de suivre toujours la politique la plus con- 
forme a Vhonneur et aux interets de mon pays." l It is not 
on words like these that the funds will rise. He sees in the 
feeling of the Germans not that of a nation, but the effect of 
a coalition of Princes, whom he would never have given 
credit for so much ill-will. That Uncle Leopold is at the 
head of the combination, and that Ernest and I are active 
participators in it, is a conviction to which he does not 
permit himself to give open expression. For the moment 

1 These are the words of the Emperor of the French in his letter to the 
Queen {jmpra, p. 370). 

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394 DEBATE ON ITALIAN QUESTION. 1859 

I believe war has been averted. In France the public feeling 
against it is shown as strongly as in Germany or here. 

'As we stand well at this moment, and our attitude 
contributes materially to the maintenance of peace, Lord 
Palmerston and Lord John have chosen the time to bring 
on an Italian Debate, which comes off on Friday ; and, 
before the voting of the Navy estimates, they are to " call n 
for a declaration of the policy of Her Majesty's Government. 
This may entirely ruin our position, for in the unspoken 
word lies our strength ! Lord Palmerston has been pushed 
forward in the business by Lord John, who threatened to 
make the motion himself if the other declined. 

' On the 28th, the Reform Bill will come on. In India 
the war is now coming to an end. 

' Lord Cowley is here, and in all probability will go to 
Vienna with the view of coming to an explicit understanding 
with the Emperor and Count Buol. Out of this a diplomatic 
possibility may perhaps spring, by way of contribution to the 
Italian struggle. 9 

The apprehensions here expressed by the Prince as to the 
Italian debate proved unfounded. The traditional courtesy, 
which refrains from embarrassing Ministers by importunate 
inquiries at critical junctures, where Foreign Policy is in 
question, — a courtesy without which the protection of the 
national interests must become impossible, — wad too sacred 
to Lord Palmerston and Lord Russell for either of them to 
violate it. Neither pressed the Government unduly. Indeed, 
they both spoke strongly in the interests of peace, and in 
terms calculated to strengthen the hands of the Ministry in 
their efforts to conciliate Austria and France, and at the same 
time to effect a redress of the grievances which weighed most 
heavily on the Italian States. In replying to Lord Palmers- 
ton Mr. Disraeli was able to announce, that the Government 

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1859 MR. DISRAELPS REFORM BILL. 395 

had received communications which gave them reason to 
believe, that before long the Roman States would be evacu- 
ated by both the French and Austrian troops, and that, too, 
with the concurrence of the Papal Government. Under these 
circumstances, he added, ' Lord Cowley has repaired to Vienna 
in a confidential capacity, a mission of peace and conciliation. 9 
With this assurance the House was satisfied, and assented 
cordially to the request, that the discussion might not be 
continued. This was made to them by Mr. Disraeli on 
grounds which, in similar circumstances, should never be 
forgotten : — 

* Sir, the proceedings and debates of this House are nicely 
scanned in foreign countries. Expressions used in our freedom 
of discussion are very often subjected to interpretations which 
the speakers themselves never contemplated. It is impossible to 
say what might be the effect at this moment of a heated debate 
or an indiscreet phrase/ 

Eager as many must have been to speak out what was 
strongly felt throughout the country as to those whose ambi- 
tion had filled Europe with alarm, and paralysed her in- 
dustries for the time, not a word was said by any one after 
this appeal, except by Lord John Bussell, and by him only to 
express his conviction, that the interests of Italy would be 
better served by negotiation than by war. 

Three nights afterwards (28th of February) Mr. Disraeli 
developed to a very crowded house the scheme of his Reform 
Bill. The secret as to its terms had been so well kept, that 
his statement was listened to with unusual eagerness and 
interest. The note of opposition was at once sounded by 
Lord John Russell, Mr. Roebuck, and Mr. Bright. Silence 
was, however, maintained by Lord Palmerston and his 
followers, and the general feeling of the House seemed to be 
in favour of. the measure. This feeling was somewhat shaken 
by the speeches of Mr. Walpole and Mr. Henley .the following 

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396 POSITION OF PRUSSIA 1859 

evening, in which they explained their reasons for quitting 
the Cabinet. Their avowal that the measure was too liberal 
for them in some respects, and not liberal enough in others, 
was typical of the prevailing state of mind both in the House 
and in the country, which, as the Prince notes in a private 
memorandum, dated the 6th of March, ' wanted in fact no 
reform, but a Bill to stop the question of reform.' 

Had any sincere desire existed generally for a settlement 
of the question, the measure might have been moulded into 
form. But the advanced Eeformers preferred the post- 
ponement of the question to such moderate changes as could 
alone have been carried, and there was a large section of the 
House on both sides, who wished it indefinitely postponed for 
various other reasons. The opening thus afforded for a move- 
ment adverse to the Ministry was seized by Lord John Russell, 
who, on the 10th of March, gave notice of his intention to 
move, on the motion for the second reading of the Bill, an 
amendment by way of resolution, which was skilfully framed 
to unite the Liberal party against the Bill, without pledging 
them to any embarrassing declaration as to the measure of 
Beform which they were themselves prepared to adopt. 

Before the discussion, which was appointed for the 21st of 
March, came on, the Italian question had passed through 
several phases. The Prussian Government, averse to re- 
maining passive, yet alive to the danger of promising active 
support to Austria, continued to appeal for advice to England 
and to the Prince. Replying to a distinguished member of 
the Royal family, the Prince (1st of March) again urged his 
opinion that Prussia must maintain a waiting attitude, if she 
would not expose herself and Europe to great danger. For, 
he said, ' people in Vienna might very easily be led on to a 
course of most dangerous obstinacy by the very circumstance 
of their being certain that Germany and Prussia would draw 
upon themselves the assault of France. 9 At the same time 

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1859 IN REFERENCE TO ITALIAN QUESTION 397 

he considered, that Prussia should speak out through Con- 
stitutional channels, with a voice of warning to both Austria 
and France* 

'Your position,' he wrote in the letter just quoted, 'is 
not so bad as it looks, for you have most powerful resources 
at your command. For what purpose do your Chambers 
exist? Why do not Hohenzollern or Schleinitz get up and 
announce to Prussia, Germany, and Europe, in a well-con- 
sidered, but bold public speech, that Prussia is ready to 
discharge her fraternal duty, ready to throw her weight into 
the scale for the maintenance of peace, ready to defend 
Austria as a brother, if unjustly attacked ; but not ready to 
provoke France, to involve Germany in war, except with the 
clearest right and overwhelming reasons on her side, or to 
mislead Austria, while clamouring for help from Germany, 
into resisting reasonable demands in Italy ; that she is bent 
on putting Germany into an efficient state of defence, but is 
compelled to remind Austria that Germany owes her no duty 
in respect of Italy, but that Austria owes Federal duties to 
Germany; that Austria's army corps must be ready to 
advance to the Ehine, before there can be any talk, of a 
declaration of war by Germany against France ; that every 
right has its corresponding duty, and every duty its corre- 
sponding right ; that help in Italy would be a pure act of 
friendship and magnanimity on the part of Germany, in 
return for which Austria must also concede to Germany an 
influence upon her Italian policy, inasmuch as Germany 
cannot pledge her possible existence, whilst leaving to Austria 
entire freedom of action as to the stake. . . . 

' In this way,' the Prince continued, ' Prussia, however 
she may be compelled to act, will ensure the support of 
Europe, and cannot be found fault with even in Germany, 
while as regards France she will be justified as having only 

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398 LETTERS BY THE PRINCE CONSORT 1859 

taken precautionary measures against the contingency of war. 
In the importance attached in Paris to a speech of Lord 
Palmerston or Lord John Russell, I can see the weight which 
such a Parliamentary declaration must have, for it appeals 
not merely to the Cabinet, but to every thinking man of 
every nation. If we may assume that the speeches of those 
English statesmen have contributed to the maintenance of 
peace, we are justified in looking for the same results from 
similar action in Prussia.' 

In this advice the qualities of the Prince's mind are con- 
spicuously shown — his courage, his frankness in dealing with 
all political questions, his conviction that the strength of a 
government lies in carrying its people with it by plain, 
speaking in the National Council. It was only by such 
public declarations as he suggested, that the French Emperor 
could be disabused of the mistaken and dangerous idea 
(supra, p. 393) that the feeling of suspicion against France, 
which was now so rife in Germany, was not that of the 
nation, but of a coalition of princes. The Prince's advice was 
not thrown away, for a few days afterwards Baron Schleinitz 
made a speech in the Prussian Chamber, which was received 
with enthusiasm, in which the foreign policy of the Govern- 
ment was announced to be such as the Prince had indicated. 

The Prince glances at the subject in a letter to Baron 
Stockmar a few days afterwards : — 

c We ave pretty well, but fearfully overworked. Events 
at home and abroad demand our constant attention, and the 
separation from three of our children has greatly increased 
the family correspondence. From Borne and Alexandria we 
have just had good news and the same from Berlin. 

' In the face of Austria's impetuous longing to see Ger- 
many pronounce in her favour, and of the overflowing en- 
thusiasm in the same direction on the side of the German 

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1859 ON THE ITALIAN QUESTION 399 

people, the waiting, purely German attitude will be a great 
trial to Prussia. And yet a premature declaration is certainly 
to be avoided in the interests of Germany and of Austria 
herself (which might be seduced by it into a war policy). 

' Lord Cowley has found in Vienna a fairer and more con- 
ciliatory spirit, and more readiness to do everything on their 
side which can be honourably demanded, than he dared to 
hope. The Pope has already entered upon our proposals, and 
the Emperor Napoleon has received a decided check through 
his Senate. The famous article in the Moniteur, the first 
really peaceful one, is the result of this. We are still very 
far from having got over the danger, but the prospects of 
peace look better. 8 

4 The Reform Bill has been well received by the country 
upon the whole, but now, of course, begin the Parliamentary 
difficulties. . . . The truth is, the country only desires a 
Reform Bill which shall put an end to the agitation for 
Reform, but it wants none for its own sake. This should 
lighten the task of the Ministry, but it makes it really more 
difficult, as it affords a wide opening for factious agitators.' 

The Prince then goes on to mention the accomplishment 
of what had long been desired by the Queen and himself — the 
introduction of an abridged liturgy for daily use in their 
private chapels, in lieu of the ordinary service, encumbered as 
that is with repetitions, and of a length wholly inappropriate 
for daily use. All the cavil which had been apprehended 
disappeared before the obvious expediency of a change from a 



1 The Commission of the Senate on the Budget had refused by a majority to 
authorise the expenditure of further large additional sums for -what was, in 
effect, a war budget, and so ' to engage France in immense sacrifices over and 
above those which she had already made.' This was followed by an article in 
the Moniteur of a very pacific character, referring at its close to diplomatic 
negotiations then pending, and saying there was ' no reason to believe that 
their issue would not be favourable to the consolidation of the public peace.' 



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400 BAPTISM OF QUEEN'S FIRST GRANDCHILD. 1859 

service that was unduly long to one in which the words were, 
as they should be, ' few and well ordered.' 

' The much talked of division of the Church Service has at 
last been introduced by us in our chapels, and has met with 
no resistance. Every one is satisfied with it. The Arch- 
bishop gave his approval and the Bishop of London inaugu- 
rated the first short service. The division begins to be 
introduced into many of the churches in town. . . .' 

An event of the deepest interest to the Queen and Prince 
— the baptism of their first grandchild — was to take place at 
Berlin on the 5th of March. 8 How gladly would they both 
have been there I ' Oh, dearest Uncle/ the Queen writes 
(1st March) to King Leopold, * it almost breaks my heart not 
to witness our first grandchild's christening. I don't think I 
ever felt so bitterly disappointed. And then it is an occasion 
so gratifying to both nations, and brings them so much 
together, that it is peculiarly mortifying.' Lord Baglan and 
Captain (now Lord) de Eos were selected to represent the 
Queen and Prince on the occasion. They were both well 
known to the Princess Royal, and she expressed great satis- 
faction when informed of their coming. On the 9th of 
March the Prince writes to her : — 

* I was certain that the presence of Lord Raglan and Cap- 
tain de Ros would give you pleasure. Ours will come when 
they return, and we can put questions to them. My first 
will be, Has the Princess gone out ? and does she begin to 
enjoy the air, to which alone she can look for regaining 
strength and health ? Or is she in the way to grow weak 
and watery by being baked like a bit of pastry in hot rooms ? 
My second : Is she grown ? I will spare you my others. 

'Your description of the Prince's kindness and loving 

9 He was baptized by the names of Friedrich Wilhelm Victor Albert 

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1859 LETTER BY THE PRINCE CONSORT 401 

sympathy for you makes me very happy. I love him dearly, 
and respect and value him, and I am glad too, for his sake, 
that in you and my little grandchild he has found ties 
of family happiness which cannot fail to give him those 
domestic tastes, in which alone in the long run life's true 
contentment is to be found.' 

On the 12th, Lord Raglan and Captain de Eos returned 
from Berlin, bringing with them favourable accounts of the 
Princess. In writing to her, the Prince again urges attention 
to health as a primary duty : — 

'Osbotne, 16th March, 1859. 

' Lord Raglan's and Captain de Ros's news of you have 
given me great pleasure. But I gather from them that yon 
look rather languid and exhausted {cvngegriffen). Some sea 
air would be the right thing for you ; it is what does all 
newly-made mothers the most good when their " campaign 
is over." I am, however, delighted to hear you have begun 
to get into the air. Now pass on as soon as possible to cold 
washing, shower baths, &c, so as to brace the system again, 
and to restore elasticity to the nerves and muscles. 

* You are now eighteen years old, and you will hold your 
own against many a buffet in life ; still you wilL encounter 
many for which you were not prepared and which you would 
fain have been spared. You must arm yourself against 
these, like Austria against the chance of war,, otherwise you 
will break down and drop into a sickly state, which would be 
disastrous to yourself, and inflict a frightful burden upon 
poor Fritz for life ; besides which, it would unfit you for ful- 
filling all the duties of your station. 

In reference to having children, the French proverb says : 
" Le premier pour la santS, Is second pour la beaute, le 
troisi&me gate tout." But England proves that the last part 
of the saying is not true, and health and beauty, those two 

VOL. IV. DD 

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4 o2 FREEMASONRY. 1859 

great blessings, are only injured, where the wife does not 
•make zealous use of the intervals to repair the exhaustion, un- 
doubtedly great, of the body, and to strengthen it both for what 
it has gone and what it has to go through, and where also 
ihe intervals are not sufficiently long to leave the body the 
necessary time to recruit. 

* ... I will get Alice to read to me the article about 
Freemasons. It is not likely to contain the whole secret. 
The circumstance whieh provokes you only into finding fault 
with the Order, viz., that husbands dare not communicate 
the secret of ittto their wives, is just one of its best features. 
If to be able to be silent is one of the chief virtues of the 
husband, then the test, which puts him in opposition to that 
being towards whom he constantly shows the greatest weak- 
ness, is the hardest of all, and therefore the most compendious 
of virtues, and the wife should not only rejoice to see him 
capable of withstanding such a test, but should take occasion 
out of it to vie with him in virtue by taming the inborn 
curiosity which she inherits from her mother Eve. If the 
subject of the secret, moreover, be nothing more important 
than an apron, then every chance is given to virtue on both 
sides, without disturbing the confidence of marriage, which 
ought to be complete.' 

Baron Stockmar, who, the Prince had hoped, would have 
been able to watdh over the convalescence of the Princess, 
was detained at Ooburg by severe illness. * I am enduring 
tortures truly diabolic,' he wrote to the Prince on the 11th of 
March ; but, ill as he was, his interest in the career of the 
Royal children, whose progress he had watched with a 
fatherly anxiety, as well as in the critical state of Europe, 
overcame the reluctance to write which was growing rapidly 
upon him. The mention in the Prince Consort's letter to 
him of the 10th of February (sujyra, p. 389) of Rome and the 

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i»59 BARON STOCKMAR ON LOUIS NAPOLEON. 403 

Prince of Wales's visit there had set the old man thinking of 
the career of his own favourite Prince since the days they 
had spent together in that city. " * I too,' he writes in the 
same letter, * have of late thought much of the circumstance 
that we were together in Borne twenty years ago, and have 
frequently called up hefore my mind's eye the whole period 
between then and now. We have reason to be content in 
humble gratitude with the way it has passed. 

' I am heartily glad,' he continues, ' that your tidings of 
the absent ones are satisfactory. Peace in a family is to my 
mind God's peace, humanly, visibly, and feelingly manifested 
upon earth. There is, therefore, nothing parents can do 
which is more fraught with blessing, than to foster and im- 
plant this peace as widely as they can.' 

Baron Stockmar had never believed in the Emperor of the 
French's declaration, * IS Empire, c'est la Paix ! ' For, even 
while allowing to the Emperor all sincerity in making it, the 
necessities of his position, he felt convinced, would drive him 
sooner or later to seek tranquillity at home by engaging his 
army, and with it the national pride, in some war of aggrand- 
isement. He accordingly saw in the present aspect of affairs 
only the fulfilment of what he had expected. 

6 Of a truth,' he continued, 4 the present phase of politics 
at home and abroad is of a kind to make all intelligent, 
reasonable people sick at heart, and one that demands to be 
grasped with a firm hand, and to be dealt with once and for 
all. " V Empire n'est pas la Paix, ni la Paix PEmpire" ' 
A combination of circumstances, of which the Crimean War, 
and the support given to the Emperor by the English Alliance, 
were the most material, had, he went on to say, given the 
Emperor an exaggerated notion of his own power. So long, 
therefore, as this delusion continued, ' there could be no 
repose, no security for any single State in Europe.' At the 

D D 2 

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404 LORD COWLEY'S MISSION TO VIENNA. 1859 

same time, it was manifest, that the position of Austria in 
Italy was a false one, and could not be maintained. * Austria 
is, in my eyes, but a geographical political necessity of the 
Treaties of 1814 and 1815. In the changes incident to all 
human things can this necessity endure for ever? Poor 
Austria, shut in between France and Russia, her own 
bigotries, her hauteur, her insincerity, and her blundering 
statesmanship I ' 

Such being Baron Stockmar's views, he could have had 
little hopes of any permanent settlement being arrived at 
from the mission of Lord Cowley to Vienna. The war party 
at Turin had taken alarm at that mission, and had asked for 
explanations from the Emperor of the French. * Don't be 
uneasy, it will come to nothing I ' was his reply. 4 So indig- 
nant, however, was the Prince Napoleon at what he regarded 
as the vacillating policy of the Emperor, and the hostility to 
war shown by his colleagues in the Imperial Council, that he 
resigned his office of Minister for Algeria and the Colonies, in 
right of which he formed one of that Council. What was 
the Emperor's real determination no one seemed to know. 
He had got into a position from which he could not extricate 
himself, without either breaking his promise to the King of 
Sardinia and to Count Cavour on the one hand, or finding 
himself, on the other, with the public opinion and all the 
Powers of Europe arrayed against him. 

Lord Cowley came back to London from Vienna on the 
14th. Austria was ready to assent to the withdrawal of her 
troops from the Papal States, to support a system of internal 
reforms in Italy, to pledge herself not to attack Sardinia, and 
to negotiate some new arrangement in lieu of her special 
treaties with the Duchies. More than this was scarcely to 
have been expected; but when Lord Cowley returned to 

4 *Ne vous offenses pas—ceci ri about ira h Hen* was the remark of the 
Emperor to M . de Villamarina, the Sardinian Ambassador, 

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1859 PROPOSALS FOR A CONGRESS. 405 

Paris, he found that his negotiations were already in effect 
superseded by the proposal of a Congress of the European 
Powers, with a view to the preservation of peace. The pro- 
posal ostensibly emanated from St. Petersburg, but it was 
soon known to have been prompted by a suggestion from the 
Tuiieries. Thus, while Lord Cowley, very much upon the 
delegation of the Emperor of the French, was negotiating in 
Vienna, the Emperor was planning a Congress, which, if it 
did not prevent, would at least postpone a settlement of the 
question. 

On learning this proposal from Lord Malmesbury the 
Queen wrote to him (18th March): 'We must be careful 
not to be caught by the idea of a Congress getting Europe 
out of the present danger. A Congress has always been the 
alternative to war which the Emperor has put forward ; but . 
a Congress "pour remanier les Traitte de 1815." Eussia 
may intend to act in such a Congress the part against Austria 
regarding Lombardy, which Austria acted against her in the 
last Congress regarding Bessarabia. . • . Austria will have 
enormous armaments to keep up, while the Congress lasts, for 
otherwise France might suddenly break off and fall upon her 
simultaneously with a rising of the Italian populations. She 
will, therefore, be very averse (and justly so) to a Congress. 
Is it the Emperor's object to exhaust her ? ' 5 

• It U interesting to compare with this letter the language of M. Thiers in a 
letter written four days later (22nd of March), of which we find a copy among the 
Prince's papers. We translate the more important passages : — ' The Emperor 
Napoleon has at bottom only one aim, one fixed idea, to compass war while 
talking of peace. By this Congress he more or less paralyses England and 
Prussia, by tying them down indirectly to his political system; for this Congress 
gives to the Italian question a body and a soul, a real political existence, 
hitherto always disputed, and justly so, by Austria. 

1 This Congress will necessarily defer the breaking out of war; but I think 
this.delay is all that Napoleon wants. His adversary being ready, while he is 
not, this delay serves admirably his purpose of employing against Austria a 
method to break her down («» aysteme dissolvent), by prolonging a critical and 
irritating state of things, that will exhaust her. In truth, Austria cannot remain 
in arms for an indefinite period, without being exhausted. Another result of 



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4o6 PROPOSALS FOR A CONGRESS. 1859 

Still Lord Cowley continued to report from Paris, that the 
Emperor seemed to grasp at the idea of a Congress as the 
means of extricating himself from the difficulties with which 
he saw himself surrounded. He had hoped that a crusade in 
Italy would have reinstated him in the good graces of Eng- 
land. This calculation had failed him. There he was more 
an object of suspicion than ever ; while all Europe would 
obviously be against him, should he provoke a war. The 
Congress seemed to open the way to escape from his engage- 
ment with Sardinia. For, if the Congress told him he was 
in the wrong, he might then put it to Sardinia, whether she 
could ask him to carry out a policy which must place him in 
antagonism to united Europe. 

Such was the impression left upon Lord Cowley's mind by 
his conversations with the Emperor, and in this belief England 
continued her efforts to arrange the Congress on a satisfactory 
basis. Lord Clarendon, who had so often to assist in getting 
the Emperor out of difficulties in which he had involved 
himself by his habit of acting upon his own rash impulses, 
when he heard of the proposed Congress, wrote to the Prince 
(22nd March) :— 

' On the day when I quitted the Foreign Office I told Lord 
Malmesbnry that the chief employment of the Foreign Secretary 
was to nlake bridges for the Emperor of the French. Lord 
Malmesbnry has reminded me of this, and said that he was 
constantly occnpied in similar works of construction. The 
bridges have been bnilt : they have safely borne the retreating 
party, bat the stipulated price has in no one instance been paid, 
and I fear we shall long be suffering creditors for ^be work 
which we are now requested to undertake. 

this state of things might be, that the young Emperor, weary of an intolerable 
burden, may end by preferring war to a position as enervating as it would be 
disastrous. Thus, having perforce became the aggressor, he would play into 
Napoleon's hands, who might then proclaim triumphantly thai it is no fault of 
his if the Empire is not Peace.* This was precisely wliat happened. 



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1 859 MEMORANDUM BY THE PRINCE. 407 

' Considering the origin of this Congress, and the animus of 
the majority of its members, it will be providential if there does 
not issue from it increased ill-will, and a settled conviction that 
the Italian knot can only be undone by the sword. I trust that 
we may not be forced by a sense of justice to become partisans,, 
and to lose our neutral position of usefulness, and that a mis* 
understanding between England and France, which I believe to 
be the object of Russia in proposing the Congress, may not be 
realised. But as the British Plenipotentiary will be the only 
one there with an honest purpose, his task will be difficult, and 
he may beforehand reckon upon the indignation of his country- 
men, if he does not maintain peace, break all the Treaties, and 
place Italian liberty upon a permanent foundation.' 

Nothing can show more clearly the chaotic condition at 
which the negotiations to prevent a war, which was not to be 
prevented, had now arrived, then the following Memorandum, 
which the Prince drew up the day after this letter was 
written : — 

4 The state of the Italian question is at this moment more 
confused than ever, because on any attempt to undo the 
knot, the first point is to discover where the threads are inter- 
laced. 

4 The Emperor Napoleon has pledged himself to support 
Sardinia in a war juste et ttgitvnie, and not merely if she 
shall be attacked by Austria. Cavour believes he holds this 
promise in writing, and is ready to threaten publication, if he 
should be thrown over. 

4 We point out that by this, the Emperor has sold himself 
to the devil, and that Cavour can do with his honour what he 
pleases — yea, even ruin his political existence. 

4 He owns his fault, would be glad to find a way to retreat 
if he could, without being compromised in the face of his 
people, which would be his destruction, and so that he could 
say to the Italians, " You see, I have done whatever was 



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4 o8 MEMORANDUM BY THE PRINCE 1859 

possible for you. You cannot wish me to embroil myself in 
war with Europe ; it would not improve your chances." 

' He is furious at the aggressive language used in Germany, 
which in a month's time will make all France wish for war — 
France, which at this moment is only anxious for the main- 
tenance of peace. Still he persists in maintaining, that he 
has been making no preparations, and many officers, some of 
our own among them, maintain the same thing. 

6 Walewski is heart and soul in favour of a peaceful solu- 
tion ; Russia, which anticipated little good from Lord 
Cowley's mission, now wishes to effect the solution by the 
proposal of a Congreps. Whether she is jealous of English 
influence, or feels her own isolation oppressive, or wants to 
pay Austria off in the Congress for the treatment which she 
received from her at the last Congress, is hard to divine, 
Russia speaks of the revision of the Paris Treaty, which will 
restore her to her fitting place in Europe. 

6 In Paris the Congress is taken up as having been pro- 
posed by Russia, and it is from there the proposal is to come 
to us also. We can hear only of Conferences, and these not 
in Paris : they are only to be held by the five Great Powers. 

6 We sound Austria ; she is ready, but upon condition that 
no questions of territory are to be touched ; that the objects 
of the consultation are to be, the evacuation of Rome, Roman 
reform, and questions about the assurance of the lesser States 
against attacks from within and from without. No progress 
in the latter can be made without the concurrence of the 
States themselves: therefore Conference in Rome. 

France desires a confederacy of the lesser States ; Austria 
would perhaps see in that an equivalent for her separate 
Treaties. 

' Sardinia is mad at the thought of being excluded from the 
Conference. If the lesser States are to be admitted, it cannot 
take place ; we desire as a preliminary condition immediate dia- 

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1 859 ON THE CONGRESS PROPOSAL. 409 

armament in Sardinia. Austria will then have to withdraw 
her troops also. Sardinia insists on a European guarantee 
before she stirs. 

4 If Sardinia does not disarm, we tell the Emperor, she may 
at any moment engage him in a war. 

* Now the Russian proposal does not make its appearance : 
Malakoff makes it in the name of France — great confusion ! — 
is thereupon called to account. Prince Gortschakoff maintains 
that he was only ready to take part in a Congress, but had 
gone no further. Confusion extreme I Shall time be given 
to Cavour to get up an insurrection in Italy, or time to the 
Ministry here to be beaten on the Reform question, so as 
then to be able to push matters better with their successors ? 

* Meanwhile we call upon Sardinia for a declaration that 
she will not attack Austria ; she declares she is ready to go 
into the Congress of which Russia speaks to her, and urges 
that her presence in Congress is the only way to prevent in- 
surrection in Italy from exploding. If things come to a 
Conference, we are to demand disarmament as a preliminary, 
and also that the deliberations shall be confined to the four 
points. 6 Perhaps we may have two Conferences, one Euro- 
pean and an Italian one. London, Berlin, or places like 
Geneva, Aix or Brussels, to be the locale for the former. 

P.S. — Fresh telegram. Russia will now make the pro- 
posal, but for a Congress, not a Conference, in which all the 
Prime Ministers shall take a part, at any place except Vienna. 
Is ready to accept our four points.' 

The same day (23rd of March) the Prince wrote to Baron 
Stockmar as follows : — 

• The four points were : 1 . Means of assuring peace between Austria and 
Sardinia. 2. Evacuation of the Roman States by foreign troops, and reforms of 
internal administration of Italian States. 3. Arrangement to be substituted for 
existing special treaties between Austria and the Italian States. 4. Territorial 
arrangements and treaties of 1815 not to be touched. 



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4io THE REFORM BILL. 1859 

' My heart impels me daily and hourly to thank you for 
your last letter of the 1 1th, and I am daily and hourly pre- 
vented, by the claims which every moment brings, from 
yielding to the impulse. Even now I can only do so by 
sending you a copy of a Memorandum which I have drawn 
up. It will explain to you the present state of our miserable 
European complications, so far as we are able here to grasp it. 
In your judgment about the Empire, its significance, history 
and future, I entirely concur, and am delighted to find it ex- 
pressed with so much verve and force, in spite of your bodily 
suffering. 

* In our home affairs the confusion is perhaps even greater. 
A Radical Reform Bill of a Conservative Ministry is denounced 
as not Radical enough by the Liberal party (who want no 
reform, and are especially afraid of a Radical one), headed 
by Lord John, whom they will not have as leader. ... I 
am thoroughly disgusted, and yet I have just completed for 
the Princess Royal a treatise on the advantages of a constitu- 
tional government. It is dealt with here just at this moment 
with an utter absence of moral principle, and our statesmen 
even regard moral principle as not at all necessary on their 
part, because, owing to the good sense of the country, and 
the general loyalty and contentment and prosperity, the* 
consequences of the want of it are not immediately felt- 
While this is so, the public is perilously apathetic and in- 
different for and against Ministers,, and the press is, — well, 
as it always is. As to the issue of the debate, I will not 
prophesy. Lord Derby expects a majority of 100 against 
him, Disraeli hopes to pull through. Whether it is to be 
resignation or dissolution must for the present also remain 
undecided.' 

The debate upon Lord John Russell's amendment had 
commenced on the 21st of March, and was continued through 



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i*59 OPINIONS OF MR. DISRAELI. 411 

seven nights. It was remarkable for the ability with which it 
was conducted. On the 22nd, Sir Edward Bulwer Lytton spoke 
with an oratorical power, of which up to that time he had given 
no evidence. His speech was spoken of by Mr. Sidney 
Herbert, who replied to him, in terms of warm admiration, as 
a piece of * splendid declamation;' but this only indicated 
the least of its merits, for it showed, in the directness and 
vigour of its rejoinders to previous speakers, the qualities of 
a skilful debater, and all a statesman's breadth of view in his 
argument as to the direction in which enlargement of the 
franchise should be carried. 7 The same evening witnessed a 
no less remarkable display on the part of Sir Hugh Cairns. 
It is interesting to see what was thought of these remarkable 
speeches by one whose own pre-eminence in debate gives special 
value to his opinion! It was thus Mr. Disraeli described them, 
in writing the same night from the House of Commons to 
the Queen, with his accustomed report of the progress of the 
debate : — 

4 A night of immense power and excitement. Two of the 
greatest speeches ever delivered in Parliament — by Sir Edward 
Lytton and the Solicitor- General. . . . Both spoke in a crowded 
house : one before dinner, the other concluding, just down. 
Never was a greater contrast between two orators, resembling 
each other in nothing bat their excellence. 

* Deaf, fantastic, modulating his voice with difficulty, some- 
times painful — at first almost an object of ridicule to the super- 
ficial — Lytton bccasionally.reached even the sublime, and perfectly 
enchained his audience. His description of the English Con- 
stitution, his analysis of democracy, — as rich and more powerful 
than Burkel 

' Sir Hugh Cairns devoted an hour to a reply to Lord John's 
Resolution, and to a vindication of the Government Bill, which 
charmed every one by its lucidity and controlled every one by its 

v One of the best parts of his speeqh was an exposition of what Cicero's 
famous axiom has expressed in ten words : * Semper in re publicd tenendum eet % 
ne plurimum valeant plurimu* 



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412 SIX HUGH CAIRNS. 1859 

logic. When he had, in the most masterly manner and with a 
concinnity which none can equal, closed the business part of his 
address, he directed himself to the political portion of the theme, 
and having literally demolished the mover of the amendment, 
sat down amid universal cheers.' 

The closing words of Sir Hugh Cairns' speech were received 
by the House with an enthusiasm due in no small degree to 
the substantial truth which was felt to lie at the bottom of 
his invective against the mover of the amendment : — 

* The people of this country,' he said, ' have dhTered, and they 
always will differ, about Reform Bills, about theories of repre- 
sentation, about social and domestic legislation of any kind ; 
but there is one subject upon which the people of this country- 
are entirely agreed. They do not like anything which bears the 
least appearance of artifice or — I must use a homely phrase — 
a dodge. They do not like it in business, they do not like it in 
politics, but least of all will they admire it in a man who, at a 
time when the best interests of his country at home, and our 
most peaceful hopes abroad, demand all the patriotism, all the 
candour, and all the forbearance of a statesman, approaches the 
consideration of a great national question like this, not fairly to 
criticise, not boldly to reject, but contriving a crafty and 
catching device to confuse, and, if it may be, to dislocate parties, 
and on that confusion and dislocation to secure his own political 
aggrandisement and private advantage.' 

Three nights afterwards (25th March) Lord Palmerston 
made a speech in support of the amendment, which by ita 
defiant and dictatorial language put an end to any prospect 
of the Ministry attempting to modify their Bill in the event 
of the amendment being carried : — 

* There is no doubt,' he said, ' the amendment will be carried, 
and then what is the Government to do ? We are told various 
things. Some persons say the Ministry will resign. Sir, I 
believe no such thing. I think it will be a dereliction of duty 
on their part if they do resign. 1 do not want them to resign. 
I say to them, as I think Voltaire said of some Minister who 



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1 859 LORD PALMERSTON. 413 

bad incurred his displeasure, " I won't punish him ; I won't send 
him to prison ; I condemn him to keep his place." They took 
the Government with its engagements. They undertook a 
measure of reform, and they will be flinching from their dnty to 
the Crown and the country if, in consequence of such a vote as 
that proposed by my noble friend, they fling up their places and 
throw upon us the difficulty of dealing with this subject. . . . But 
then it is said they may dissolve. I have no greater faith in their 
dissolving than in their resignation. I am of this opinion, because 
to dissolve Parliament at the present moment implies more than 
the single will of the Government. The concurrence of this 
House is necessary to its own dissolution. Before the Govern- 
ment dissolve it must take another vote in supply, pass the 
Appropriation Act, the Ways and Means Act, and make provision 
for Exchequer Bills which will fall due in May. Now all these 
operations require the hearty concurrence of the House, and are 
the Government, I should like to know, sure of obtaining that 
concurrence ? ' 

If Lord Palmerston desired, as he well might, that the 
Ministry should go on with their attempt to effect a settle- 
ment of the Reform question, which had so long been a thorn 
in his side, and to the stirring of which he notoriously bore 
no goodwill, he was not likely to persuade them by the use 
of language, truly described by Mr. Disraeli, in his report to 
the Queen of that evening's debate, as « infinitely audacious. 9 
His hint at stopping the supplies in the event of a Dissolution 
was as little calculated to deter them from that step, should they 
be inclined to adopt it. The country would be with them, for it 
knew that this step would neither be proposed by the Govern- 
ment at such a moment, nor sanctioned by the Queen, except 
with the greatest reluctance. Of this Lord Palmerston was 
well aware. Accordingly, when Lord John Russell's amend- 
ment was carried, as it was (1st April) by a majority of 330 
against 291, and Mr. Disraeli three nights afterwards an- 
nounced the intention of the Ministry to appeal to the 
country, his attitude was entirely altered. Lord Palmerston, 

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414 LETTER BY THE PRINCE CONSORT 1859 

Mr. Disraeli wrote to the Queen the same evening, was 
* constitutional, and, instead of stopping supplies, he was 
anxious almost to precipitate public business.' 

The whole political situation at home and abroad at this 
critical moment cannot be better presented than in the 
following letter, written by the Prince next day (5th April) 
to King Leopold : — 

* Dearest Uncle, . • . The Dissolution is a serious matter, 
and may give rise to great excitement in the country. It 
must lead to a large number of the members of the new 
Parliament pledging themselves at the elections to extreme 
measures of democratic reform, even though the Ministry 
should gain a majority, of which Lord Derby (who is, how- 
ever, of a sanguine temperament) feels certain. To all 
parties the Dissolution is unwelcome, on account of the inter- 
ruption to business, the consequent agitation in London, and 
the double expense and inconvenience which it involves, as 
immediately after the. passing of a Reform Bill the House 
must be again dissolved, to make way for a Parliament 
elected under the new law. Nevertheless, the Ministry 
thought they had no alternative. Lord Palmerston's insolent 
speech had made any modification of their own Bill in the 
present House impossible. 

4 To have resigned at this crisis would have been a mis- 
fortune for Europe. Victoria was against resignation, and in 
some measure reconciled to a Dissolution by the probability 
that Lord John Russell, if he came into power and introduced 
a democratic measure, would in any case have desired a Dis- 
solution to enable him to carry it. In this way we should 
have had to go through a General Election under much more 
unfavourable circumstances. . . . How things will go now 
we do not know. The Ministry have several Money Bills to 
carry through before they can dissolve ; this the Opposition 

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1859 TO THE KING OF THE BELGIANS. 415 

may make impracticable for them, and Palmerston had 
threatened as much. Many members have voted for Lord 
John's Resolutions (as many as between fifty and one hundred) 
who were not disposed to go the whole length with him. But 
yet Sir J. Graham, the deviser of the Resolution and of the 
whole manoeuvre, had managed it in such a way that no 
Liberal could vote against it without exposing himself to the 
greatest misrepresentation in the country for having done so. 
On the other hand, many, perhaps two-thirds, of the Con- 
servatives voted against the Resolution, although in their 
hearts they condemned the Bill. The vote, therefore, after a 
ten days' debate, conducted with great dignity and with 
much eloquence, left everything undecided, except that the 
Bill will now not go on, and that the Ministry cannot change 
it. Now things are all at sixes and sevens, and alas ! it is 
upon us the pressure of the difficulty chiefly falls. 

' The Congress truly does not " dance," like the Viennese ; 
one can scarcely even say qu'il rnarche. Austria was very 
rational on the Treaty question, and had already given us 
assurances in the sense which you had advised. Buol 
assumed a position quite logical and statesmanlike. He says : 
"We heard from Lord Cowley the demands which Louis 
Napoleon makes upon us. We yielded, out of a love for 
peace, those which depend upon ourselves alone. Since then 
we have not only withdrawn nothing, but have made still 
further concessions by intimating our readiness to go into 
council upon the special treaties. Meanwhile Russia has 
proposed the Congress, with a view to increase the difficulties 
of an arrangement. In this Lord Cowley's negotiations have 
been put on one side. We have accepted the Congress, that 
nothing should be undone which might avert war ; but the 
Congress was brought about by bad faith, and we must take 
care not to become its dupes. Consequently we look to Eng- 
land, to see that nothing should be proposed to us there which 

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416 LETTER BY THE PRINCE CONSORT 1859 

is incompatible with our honour and our position, for we have 
two enemies to deal with. As some assurance that France is 
really straightforward in the business, and is not merely 
seeking to gain time for her warlike preparations, in order 
to pass from the Congress into war, having gained some 
political pretext for war (which she is now wholly without), 
we require the disarmament of Sardinia. We are ready to 
enter the Congress upon the general disarmament of Europe, 
and even to be very liberal in regard to the Treaties ; but it 
is only there that we will make the concession, and although 
the Emperor Napoleon may derive some satisfaction from 
our doing so, we only hope it may be sufficient for his amour 
propre" 

* Nothing can, I believe, be better. But now comes the 
difficulty. Cavour refuses absolutely to disarm, and leaves 
Paris in high wrath, threatening to bring on the war whether 
people in Paris wish it or not. He holds in his pocket 
written promises of assistance for war, made at an earlier 
date, and from these he declines to set the Emperor free. The 
Emperor is in a most embarrassing position, and bows beneath 
the lash of his cousin, who reminds him that he had been 
opposed to the whole Italian policy, but had been won over 
to it by the marriage, and now requires that people should 
not dishonour themselves and him by an act of poltroonery 
(une lachetS). 

1 Yesterday the telegraph announced from Vienna, that as 
Sardinia is upheld by France in her resolution not to disarm, 
the only guarantee is ^ removed, which had made it possible 
for Austria to enter the Congress, and that now, therefore, 
she could no longer hear of it. She is justified in coming to 
this conclusion, yet as a matter of policy wrong. The mis- 
chief, however, is, that we cannot blame her, without main- 
taining that France is in the right, and yet she is here again 
the true delinquent. If the other three Powers were of one 

% 

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1859 TO THE KING OF THE BELGIANS. 417 

mind, ways and means might easily be found to get the 
better of even these difficulties. But as Russia is one of 
them, and as it is she who has made possible (uermittdt) 
France's whole Italian policy for the last two years, giving 
her encouragement, the extent of which we can only sur- 
mise, while, however, we know her hatred to, and longing 
to be avenged on Austria, every step is surrounded with diffi- 
culty. 

' Prince Gortschakoff had from the first said to Sir John 
Crampton [English Ambassador at St. Petersburg], that he 
looked to the Congress to regain for Russia the position she. 
had lost since 1855. She was prepared to revise the Treaties 
of 1815, including with them those of 1856. Their revision 
had become necessary. He had said the same thing to two 
other diplomatists in the same words; his language had 
therefore all the weight of a manifesto. What is, therefore, 
to be expected from that quarter? 

'In France the cadres are now to be settled at 100 new 
regiments or battalions. The Emperor, therefore, had an 
eye to the improbability of things being arranged without 
a war, and to the further improbability, that once begun it 
would be confined to Italy. He therefore counts more upon 

the first of the two alternatives which he put before r as 

the consequences of the Congress, t(m une giberv* <m wne 
tclatante satisfaction pour moi" * 

6 We have just heard that CaYour maintains, that the 
Emperor Napoleon himself chalked out at Plombteres the 
whole plan for organising the Italian complication, and that 
he, Cavour, has only been the instrument, which now, how- 
ever, cannot let itself be sacrificed. We have several times 
reminded France of the position she will be placed in morally, 
should she now break her thrice given promise to effect the 

8 This was the Emperor's expression in a recent conversation with a friend 
of King Leopold's. 

VOL. IV. E E 



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418 THE ITALIAN QUESTION. 1859 

disarmament of Sardinia, if Austria agreed to enter the 
Congress. Buol has just sent another telegram to say that 
he will not appear at the Congress. The Italian States 
have all declined to appear. If nothing' comes of the Con- 
gress, Russia will hare made herself eminently ridiculous. 

' We are not disposed to regard our powers of persuasion 
as even yet exhausted. In the worst event we must take 
our stand upon the Paris Protocol, and call on France for a 
statement of her grounds of complaint, which may then be 
referred to arbitration in the manner indicated by the 
Protocol.' 

But it soon became apparent that there were forces at 
work more potent than any that diplomacy could bring into 
the field, and that this 4 costly apparatus for maintaining 
peace' must give place to the arbitrament of war, to which 
the chief parties to the dispute were both equally eager to 
appeal. 



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419 



CHAPTER XCIII. 

Amid the bewildering half utterances and vacillations of some 
of the leading actors in the Italian drama, there was one 
man who never wavered, and as to whose purpose there could 
be no mistake. This was Count Cavour. He had, set be- 
fore himself the resolution to dislodge the Austrians from 
Italy, as the first and indispensable step to the formation of 
an Italian kingdom under the Sovereign whom he served — a 
kingdom self-governed, and, in Milton's words, ' aiming at 
true liberty through the right information of religious and 
civil life,' Encouraged by the promises of the Emperor of 
the French, he had embarked heart and soul in this enter- 
prise, for which he had been led to believe the Emperor was 
prepared to strike with all the force of France, But for the 
inducements thus held out to him Cavour was too sagacious 
to have forced on his plans in the way he had recently done. 
It was now too late for him to recede. For by this time the 
King of Sardinia and himself were too deeply pledged to 
withdraw with honour from the assurances they had held out 
to the moderate Liberal party throughout the Italian States, 
even if they could see without dismay the vast expenditure 
altogether thrown away, to which the kingdom had been put 
in preparing for war. 

He was, therefore, naturally taken quite aback when the 
tidings reached Turin of a Congress to settle the affairs of 
Italy, assented to by the Emperor of the French, and from 
which Sardinia was to be excluded. At Paris, the Sardinian 

B K 2 

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it 

9. 



420 VISIT OF COUNT CAVOUR 1859 

Ambassador, M. de Villamarina, had been brusquely told by 
Count Walewski, that ' the Emperor would not make war to 
advance the ambition of Sardinia, and that a pacific solution 
of everything might be reached in a Congress in which Sar- 
dinia was not entitled to take part.' l Language similar in 
effect was held at Turin by the Count de la Tour d'Auvergne. 
Cavour did not hesitate in his line of action. He at once 
wrote to Prince Napoleon, and sent by his agent M. Nigra 
a letter from the King, to be delivered to the Emperor in 
person. M. Nigra was instructed to speak strongly to His 
Majesty, and to tell him that the language addressed by 
Count Walewski to his Ambassador at Turin was calculated 
to create profound discouragement, or to drive the King to 
commit some desperate act. The Emperor's answer was to 
summon Cavoui to Paris forthwith.? 

Count Cavour arrived there on the 25th of March. He found, 
as he had anticipated, Count Walewski bent on preventing 
his master from embarking in war. The Emperor, Count 
Walewski told him, had finally determined not to quarrel with 
Austria or to interfere in Italian affairs otherwise than peace- 
fully. To this Cavour replied that he could only attribute 
Count Walewski's remarks to his utter ignorance of what had 
already passed between the Emperor and himself. He would 
not submit to the imputation of being a ' makebate,' and of 
having sought to embroil France in the Italian struggle, 
when he had in his possession written evidence to show that 

1 Masade, Vie de Cavour, p. 245. M. de Mazade is our authority for the 
remainder of this paragraph. 

* In a private letter from Lord Cowley to Lord Malmeabury (24th March) 
reporting an interview with the Emperor the previous day, he writes: — 'I did 
all in my power to incline him to join us in requiring Sardinia to disarm. His 
Majesty admitted that it ought to be done, but he said that his accounts from 
Turin were of that nature that he was convinced the King would abdicate and 
Cavour resign if the disarmament were forced upon him, or else in a fit of 
despair they would throw themselves upon the Austrians. . • . Finally he said 
he would see what he could do with Cavour t and that he would see me again in 
a couple of days.' 



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1859 TO THE EMPEROR OF THE FRENCH. 421 

he bad been urged to take the initiative — that he had then 
remonstrated in the strongest terms against a war with Austria, 
which might be fatal to Piedmont, and would endanger the 
peace of Europe, but that he had at last yielded, feeling that 
he would be false to Italy and to his own policy, were he to 
refuse the magnificent offers of assistance which were pressed 
upon him by the Emperor, 

On leaving Count Walewski, Count Cavour's first impres- 
sion was to quit Paris without seeing the Emperor, and he was 
with difficulty persuaded from this purpose by a friend who 
had accompanied him from Turin. He said, that if he were 
now to be thrown over, after the language he had held in 
Parliament, the national excitement he had created, and the 
vast expense that had been incurred, he could never again 
show his face to his countrymen in public. He should 
accordingly return to Turin that evening, and resign his 
offioe, which he knew would be followed by the King's abdi- 
cation* He would then go to America and publish the docu- 
ments he possessed, and these would prove to the world, that 
he had ample grounds for relying on the Emperor's promises, 
and the assistance of France in a war against Austria. 8 

In his subsequent interviews with the Emperor, who re- 
ceived him, says M. de Mazade, * with the same cordiality and 
frankness as at Plombferes,' Count Cavour was persuaded to 
adopt a more moderate course. What he learned in these 
interviews, as well as in general society in Paris, could not 
fail to satisfy him, that the task to which the Emperor had 
committed himself was hedged round with difficulties — 
difficulties, however, as M. de Mazade admits, * which might 
be unexpectedly brought to an end by Austria, should 
that country be so kind to him as to commit some fault of 

■ These details were not known to the Prince till February I860, when they 
were communicated to him from a quarter which placed their accuracy beyond 
suspicion. 



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422 INTERVIEWS OF LORD COWLEY 1859 

impatience or precipitation,' On the point of disarmament, 
Count Cavour adhered inexorably to what he had written to 
Prince Napoleon — ' Better far to fall defeated with arms in 
our hands, than to be miserably lost in anarchy, or to see 
ourselves reduced to maintaining public tranquillity by the 
violent methods of the King of Naples. To day we have a 
moral force, which is worth an army ; if we lose that, nothing 
will restore it to us.' 

The fervour of Count Cavour seems to have in some measure 
reinspired the Emperor, and made his mind incline again to 
the side of war. Diplomacy was still busy with its efforts for 
peace. But the Emperor no longer recognised the promise 
which he had made to Lord Cowley to urge disarmament on 
Sardinia: When now pressed home (7th April) to say whether 
he wanted peace or war, the Emperor replied to Lord Cowley 
that he should be very glad if peace could be maintained, but 
that he was not afraid of war, adding, that if he were to speak 
his internal conviction, it was that war was unavoidable. 
' There was so much irritation everywhere, there was such a 
general sentiment prevalent that war could not be avoided, 
that his instinct told him it would come.' In this interview 
Lord Cowley heard enough to satisfy him that the Emperor's 
mind was bent on the expulsion of the Austrians from Italy ; 
for he opened his mind further than he had hitherto done. 

( He asked me, among other things,' Lord Cowley writes to 
Lord Malmesbnry (8th April), * what England would do if war 
broke out ? ' I replied that I had no doubt she would endeavour 
to maintain her neutrality. * But,' said the Emperor, * England 
has always disliked the presence of the Austrians in Italy — why 
should we not endeavour to understand each other ? Supposing 
I give guarantees that I have no ambitious projects, surely 
she would help me to obtain that which is not repugnant to 
her. . . .' 

1 1 told him it was my conviction, that if he attempted, with- 
out reason, any scheme so iniquitous, he would have both the 



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1 859 WITH EMPEROR OF THE FRENCH. 423 

moral and material elements of England arrayed against him. 
I gave him all the reasons in my power to show that no Govern- 
ment in England would ever assist in a deliberate and uncalled- 
for attack upon an unoffending ally. If His Majesty wanted to 
incite Great Britain as one man against him, he had only to 
take the course he had hinted at. The Emperor seemed some- 
what surprised at the energetic reproval which I confess I gave 
him, and he expressed doubts whether I was correct in my 
judgment; but I begged him to write to whom he would in 
England if he doubted my being right — to you — to Palmerston — 
to Clarendon — even to John Russell — and that I was convinced 
he would hear no two opinions. This part of the conversation 
seemed to make a deep impression upon him.' 

Some days before this interview took place Austria had, as 
a further evidence of her pacific intentions, proposed, as one of 
the matters to be settled by the Congress, a simultaneous 
disarmament of the Great Powers- France, protesting that 
her armaments were all upon the peace footing, had declined 
to entertain this proposal. Before leaving the Emperor Lord 
Cowley reverted to the question,, which had already been 
discussed between them. 

1 "Recollect, Sire,' ,r I said, " that this proposal has been made 
by Austria, and that it is a tremendous responsibility not to accept 
it. Recollect that it is a fearful thing to have, as you have, 
peace and war within your hands. Nobody contests your right 
to feel deep sympathy for Italy. It is in? your power to help her 
by pacific means. God knows whether you may rivet her chains 
faster if you have recourse to war. Remember that there is 
glory and renown to be obtained as the dispenser of peace, as 
there is disaster possible if you draw the sword. It is not Italy 
only, but the world that may be the sufferer. At this moment 
the honour of France is untouched. You admit that you have 
no cause of quarrel with Austria. For God's sake do not make 
one ! Once more I repeat, war and peace are within your gift. 
God grant that you may make a right choice." I said these 
words with all the solemnity that a real feeling of the truth of 
them could give. The Emperor seemed affected, and promised 
to consider well what I had said.' 



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424 CAVOUR ASSENTS TO A CONGRESS. 1859 

Lord Cowley's words were not without their effect upon the 
Emperor, who within a few days afterwards assented to the 
arrangement that the Congress should meet, Sardinia and the 
other Italian States being admitted to be heard in it, and 
Sardinia concurring in the general disarmament. On the 18th 
of April Count Cavour was asked in a telegram from Paris for 
his instant adhesion to this arrangement. The moment was 
a trying one for him ; but he saw that refusal would have been 
a grave error. So long as England only had called on 
Sardinia to disarm, he could afford to make an evasive or even 
negative reply. Now, he argued, if we accept the proposal to 
disarm, we are yielding to a demand addressed to us by Europe. 
Our honour is safe. We have resisted as long as we could. 
Nevertheless our position is serious — not desperate, but 
serious. 4 

The tidings of the next few days made Cavour's position look 
less desperate. Everything depended upon what Austria should 
now do. Russia, Prussia, France, England, were all agreed 
upon the basis for the Congress, Austria still hung back, and 
every day rendered her acceptance of the arrangement more 
and more doubtful. She pressed for disarmament as a pre- 
liminary to the Congress ; the other Powers were willing that 
its terms and manner should be arranged in the Congress 
itself. ' Austria,' he said, 4 does not speak; should she refuse, 
then the Emperor divined that she would refuse !' 

Meanwhile, the efforts of England to reach a peaceable 
solution were unremitting. Every half-hour the negotiations 
presented some new phase, and from the Courts of all the 
Great Powers came despatches and telegrams in bewildering 
confusion. 'The telegraph drives one almost mad,' the Prince 
writes (12th April). 4 Two to three an hour is the usual 
number, and they almost always contradict each other/ Nor 
were the tidings they brought less unpleasant than confusing. 
* Mazade, Vie de Cavour, p. 251. 

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1859 DISSOLUTION OF PARLIAMENT. 425 

It is thus the Prince writes to the Dowager Duchess of Coburg 
a few days later (16th April): — 

' 1 can remember no period of equal confusion and danger. 
The ill-starred telegraph speaks incessantly from all quarters 
of the globe, and from every quarter a different language 
(I mean to a different purport). Suspicion, Hatred, Pride, 
Cunning, Intrigue, Covetousness, Dissimulation dictate the 
despatches, and in this state of things we cast about to find 
a basis on which peace may be secured ! An agreeable occu- 
pation! At home we are now on the verge of a dissolution 
of Parliament, which is to take place on Tuesday; parties 
are broken up, and much embittered against each other; 
and with things in this state we are to find a sure basis for 
a Reform Bill, which will satisfy the democrats, without 
driving monarchy and aristocracy to the wall ! Also a pretty 
business.' 

The dissolution of Parliament at such a moment, and the 
presence at the head of affairs of a Government, which, until 
the result of the elections was known, could only be regarded 
as provisional, were most inopportune. As such it was felt by 
the political leaders of the Opposition, and they did what they 
could not to add to the embarrassment which their action in 
respect to the Reform Bill had occasioned. Both Houses dis- 
cussed the alarming state of Europe in debates on the 18th of 
April, and to both the fullest explanations were given of what 
the Ministry had done in the interests of peace. Not much 
confidence was expressed in the prospects of the Congress, even 
if it should be entered upon, tainted in its origin as it was, 
and equivocal in its purpose, from being interpolated at the 
time when Lord Cowley seemed to have had in his hands the 
means of effecting a reconciliation between Austria and France. 
' I believe,' said Lord Clarendon, speaking in the House of 
Lords — and his audience felt there was much truth in the 



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426 FAILURE OF NEGOTIATIONS. 1859 

sarcasm — 'that all my noble friend (Lord Malmesbury) knows 
is this : that one despotic Power has proposed to another 
despotic Power, that by means of a Congress, a third despotic 
Power should pave the way for liberal institutions.' 

Writing to the King of the Belgians next day (19th April) 
his usual weekly letter, the Prince says : — 

' Thursday is again here, but no peace ! Neither is there 
any better prospect of arriving at one. The propositions and 
counter-propositions which cross each other almost hourly I 
will pass over in silence, as they have come to nothing, and 
only confuse one. The animus of the parties seems alone to be 
worth study. I will follow the indications which point to that. 

'The Emperor Napoleon said to Lord Clarendon at 
Compiegne last November: — "Let us discuss general policy 
frankly. The object of our Eastern policy was twofold," — 
Lord Clarendon nodded assent, thinking he referred to driving 
Russia out of the East and securing the safety of Turkey ; — 
44 Poland and Italy I Poland must be given up, as we wished 
to be friends with Russia — so Italy alone is left I " It is not 
agreeable to have large transactions with such an ally. 
Schleinitz has asked Budberg point blank whether Russia 
intended secretly to concentrate 60,000 men on the Austrian 
frontier. He did not deny it, but applauded his Government 
for the resolution, " comme la Russie ne pourrait jamais 
souffrir que VAutriche sorte victorieuse (Tune guerre avec 
la France, par 'ce que jamais ette ne pourrait s 'entendre avec 
elle sur les affaires de Turquie" (sic). 

' The Austrians seem bent on beginning the wax, no doubt 
hoping to strike a decisive blow, before the French can appear 
upon the field. — a very hazardous venture, and one the issue 
of which is scarcely to be brought within the rules of proba- 
bility. Here it will turn public opinion at a stroke against 
Austria and in favour of Sardinia.' 

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1859 AUSTRIA'S ULTIMATUM. 427 

Writing to her Uncle the same day the Queen expresses no 
less anxiety : — ' Matters look very serious, yet for all that 
they may right themselves more quickly than we now can 
anticipate. Here matters are quiet. The elections will, I 
think, be conducted with unusual moderation, — a proof of the 
soundness and good sense of the country. I own, one becomes 
dreadfully disgusted with politics and Europe. . . . The 
conduct of the Emperor grieves me. He will have a fearful 
responsibility, if he brings on war without the shadow of a 
reason.' 

The Queen then announces the approaching confirmation 
of her second daughter, the Princess Alice. ' She is,' Her 
Majesty writes, 'very good, gentle, sensible, and amiable, 
and a real comfort to me. I shall not let her marry as long 
as I can reasonably delay her doing so. To-morrow she will 
be examined by the Archbishop.' 

It was by Austria, as the Prince had feared, and not by 
France, that the note of war was first sounded. The same 
day (19th April) on which the Prince wrote the letter just 
cited, Count Buol despatched to Turin by the hands of Baron 
Kellersberg, a demand upon Sardinia to disarm, under threat 
that unless she did so within three days, the Austrian army 
would march upon Turin. The step, though a gross mistake 
in policy, was perhaps not much to be wondered at. The 
facts within her knowledge no doubt satisfied Austria that 
her leading adversaries had no wish for the Congress to result 
in a pacific settlement. Her position in Italy, embarrassing 
and a real source of weakness to herself as it was, was one she 
could only surrender by an heroic act of self-denial. But 
such an act, wise and politic as it would have been, and one 
to which in otjier circumstances she might not have been 
averse, was impossible, with France and Piedmont gathering 
their forces to extort it, for it would have been misunderstood 
by her own people, and misrepresented by her opponents. 



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428 EFFECT OF AUSTRIA'S 1859 

Sooner ©r later, it was manifest, she would have to fight for 
her Italian possessions. As, therefore, — even if France and 
Piedmont were as sincere, as she had reason to helieve they 
were not, in their desire to effect for the time a peaceful solu- 
tion of the Italian question by a Congress, — Austria must have 
felt that the struggle would come, and come probably at a 
time when her adversary would be better prepared for it 
than now, war, with all the disadvantage of having seemed 
to provoke it, may have appeared to her Government a 
lesser evil than to have it hanging indefinitely over their 
heads. Unable as they were, moreover, to estimate the extent 
to which their malign influence in Italy had alienated from 
them the sympathies of Europe, and confident in the strength 
of their splendid army, they probably counted on such a 
success as would at all events make Piedmont impotent for 
further mischief, and enable them to choose their own time 
for dealing with the question of administrative changes in 
Italy. If such were the views by which they were actuated, 
bold and rapid military action, before the French had time to 
come to the assistance of Sardinia, was the necessary comple- 
ment to the success of their policy. But having placed 
themselves in the wrong, their nerve seemed all at once to fail 
them, and they forfeited by their vacillation in the field the 
only advantage which their rash and unwise summons to 
Sardinia had given them. 

The news of the step taken by Austria created no small 
dismay in England, and was instantly followed by an inti- 
mation from our Government, that they protested against the 
threatened invasion of the Sardinian territory. Speaking at 
the Lord Mayor's dinner (25th April) Lord Derby said : — 
6 There was nothing, in his judgment, to justify the hasty, 
the precipitate, and, because involving the horrors of war, the 
Criminal step which had been taken by Austria.' Nevertheless 
his Government were at the time continuing their efforts to 

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1859 SUMMONS TO SARDINIA. 429 

avert war, by proposing that Sardinia should act upon the 
twenty-third Protocol of Paris of the 14th of April, 1856, and 
call for the mediation of the Great Powers of Europe. 

On the 26th of April the Queen wrote to her Uncle at 
Brussels : — 

* I hardly know what to say, so confused and bewildered 
are we by the reports which come in three to four times a 
day. I have no hopes of peace left. Though it was originally 
the wicked folly of Bussia and France that brought about this 
fearful crisis, it is the madness and blindness of Austria which 
have brought on the war now. She has thus put herself in 
the wrong, and entirely changed the feeling here into the 
most vehement sympathy for Sardinia. . . . 

4 It is a melancholy and sad Easter. These events have 
disturbed and spoilt the quiet of our dear Alice's confirmation, 
for the alarming news of the very unwise- decision of Austria 
came when the ceremony was just over, and while we were 
still talking to the company assembled for it. However, this 
did not disturb our dear child's equanimity. She was in a 
most devotional state- of mind— quiet, gentle, self-possessed, 
and deeply impressed with the importance and solemnity of 
the event. She answered admirably at her examination, and 
went through the ceremony in a very perfect manner.' 

The same day the Prince wrote to King Leopold : — 

' Austria has, at last, fairly involved herself in the position 
which her enemies desired, that is, put herself in the wrong. 
Her demand on Sardinia to disarm just at the very moment 
when Sardinia had agreed with the other Powers upon dis- 
armament, simply upon condition of being heard in Congress 
with the other Italian States, and when all the other States 
had assented to the proposal, was a tremendous mistake, and 
has caused the greatest indignation here. The sympathy for 
Sardinia, which was only subdued and kept down by dis- 



430 FURTHER EFFORTS FOR PEACE. 1859 

pleasure at the proceedings of France, now finds a free vent, 
and Austria is once more the oppressor of Italy, the violator 
. of treaties and of popular rights, &c, &c, 

'The affair may cost our Ministry its elections, as it is 
sure to be regarded as responsible for the encouragement 
(Ermuthigwng) which has led Austria to take this violent 
step, . . .* 

4 Nevertheless, we are now making a fresh attempt to let 
the Congress drop, and simply to take up the negotiation 
where we left it at the successful close of Lord Cowley's 
mission. Austria is ready to enter upon the negotiation, but 
makes success impossible for us by mixing it up with the pre- 
liminary disarmament of Sardinia, of which at that time not 
a word was said. France is not over well-pleased at our pro- 
posal, as she could not so easily bring Austria a second time 
into so false a position, and therefore she says with Sir Lucius 
O'Trigger, " No ! no ! The quarrel is a mighty pretty one 
as it stands ! " 

* Are you making preparations ? When all the world is 
arming, Belgium should not remain defenceless.' 

Before this letter was despatched, a fresh complication had 
arisen, and the Prince adds in a postscript: — 

* The telegraph has once more totally altered everything, 
as it announces the march of French troops into Sardinia. 
It is not Austria and Sardinia that now stand face to face, 
but Austria and France. Whether this will facilitate our 
proposal to negotiate directly between Austria and France I 
know not. It places Austria in a worse position in a military, 

* The charge was, in fact, brought, and with the vehemeoce usual where party 
rancour takes the place of conscientious convictions basal upon information 
carefully sifted and digested. The publication of a Bluo-Book with the 
Despatches which had been exchanged on the Italian question proved the 
utter groundlessness of the charge. But Blue-Books are read by few, and 
not always with an open mind even by those few. 



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x859 LETTER BY THE PRINCE CONSORT 431 

in a better in a moral point of view, for hitherto Austria has 
only threatened, and France. ha» acted.* 

The same day this letter was written, Count Walewski 
spoke -at great length in the Corps Legislatif in vindication of 
the French policy in Italy, and concluded by the announce- 
ment, that if the Sardinian territory were invaded, France 
would regard this step as a declaration of war against herself. 
Three days afterwards (29th of April) the Austrian troops 
crossed the Ticino. By this time, however, there were upwards 
of 40,000 French troops in Piedmont, and Generals Canrobert 
and Baraguay d'Hilliers had arrived at Turin to concert the 
plan of operations. The French Government had definitively 
refused the last offer of negotiation referred to by the Prince. 
Kevolution had broken out in Florence and Modena. War 
was now inevitable, and any advantage which Austria might 
have gained by prompt military action on the expiration of 
the three days allowed by her demand on Piedmont was irre- 
coverably lost. 

On the 27th of April the Prince wrote to the Prince Regent 
of Prussia : — 

'At one stroke the Emperor Francis Joseph has turned 
public opinion here against Austria. The popular instinct, 
long observation, and political principles had disposed the 
English to be hostile to the action of Austria in Italy, and 
favourable to the emancipation of that country from the 
Austrian yoke, and nothing short of the very equivocal conduct 
of France could have silenced this feeling, and wakened in 
its stead a feeling against that country. Now all is changed. 
You will best understand the position which the Government 
sees itself driven to adopt from Lord Derby's speech at a dinner 
at the Mansion House two days ago, which I beg you will 
read. 

' What the impression will be, which the new state of things 

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432 TO THE PRINCE REGENT OF PRUSSIA. 1859 

will produce, I do not venture to decide. A determination 
to take no part in the war seems to me to have been formed 
quite decidedly. Whether circumstances will admit of this 
determination being carried out is quite another question. 

4 We have asked France point blank as to the treaty which 
she is said to have made with Russia in the view of eventuali- 
ties, as we regard any such treaty as incompatible with our 
alliance with her up to the present time. 

6 The Emperor of Russia has complained of Lord Derby's 
last speech in the House of Lords, which spoke of the Russian 
proposal of a Congress as an untoward event, preventing as it 
did an adjustment of the dispute by means of the negotiation 
successfully conducted by Lord Cowley at Vienna. The 
Emperor professes himself deeply wronged by the statement, 
as it looks as though he had wished to prevent an arrange- 
ment by stepping in for the purpose, whereas he only made 
his proposal at the request of France, and after she had given 
him the assurance that Lord Cowley's mission had come to 
nothing. From other quarters, however, we hear, that on the 
6th of March 6 Russia made it known in Turin, that France 
had assented to her proposal of a Congress on the Italian 
question. How can any one take precautions against conduct 
such as this ? 

* Still, man proposes and God disposes ; and what can any 
man do better than act quite honestly, loyally, fearlessly, and 
firmly? Many things will turn out very differently from 
what the actors in the play have expected 

4 We have sent ten ships of the line and six frigates to the 
Mediterranean, and are getting together here a new fleet* 
The French want to know, whether we shall look on quietly, 
if they commence warlike operations in the Adriatic — a question 
which we naturally decline to answer. . . .' 

* Five da}-8 before Lord Cowley left Vienna, and when his negotiations there 
had scarcely begun. 



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1859 ALLEGED FRENCH AND RUSSIAN TREATY. 433 

The day after this letter was written, The Times announced 
in very unqualified terms the existence of a treaty offensive 
and defensive, said to have been recently contracted between 
France and Russia, So strong was the feeling of indignation 
excited by this announcement, that, had it been confirmed, 
the most serious consequences could scarcely fail to have en- 
sued. Not one hour had been lost by Lord Malmesbury, when 
information of the existence of such a treaty reached him, as 
it had done some days before, in requiring explanations on the 
subject from both Powers. Prince Gortechakoff, on the part 
of Russia, would go no further than to say that it contained 
no arrangements hostile to England. The Emperor of the 
French went further, and authorised Lord Cowley to give his 
personal assurance to Lord Malmesbury, that he had no secret 
treaty or convention of any kind with Russia. All that he 
had obtained from her, he declared, was a promise of benevo- 
lent neutrality, and the assembling of troops on the Galiician 
frontier. This promise was instantly fulfilled by the movement 
thither of 60,000 Russians under General Liiders — an act, the 
4 benevolent neutrality ' of which it was not difficult to con- 
strue in the light furnished by the remark of Baron Budberg, 
above quoted, as to the purpose to which, if the necessity 
arose, this very considerable force would be applied. These 
explanations had not reached England, when the Prince 
wrote (29th April) the following letter to Baron Stockmar: — 

'Another week is past, during which affairs in Europe 
have become much worse. We work day and night, doing 
everything we can to avert war. . . . but without success. 
The position is perpetually changing from hour to hour. 
The Austrian ultimatum was a tremendous mistake, and has 
produced the most damaging impression here, and driven us 
into a hostile attitude towards Austria. Then came the 
descent of the French upon Sardinia, which gave rise to 

VOL. IV. F F 

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434 LETTER BY THE PRINCE. 1*59 

feelings of the opposite kind. Then Austria accepted our 
negotiation instead of the Congress ; this France refused ! 
Yesterday The Times* announced to the world the existence 
of the Eusso-French secret treaties, and as they are calculated 
to expose us to serious peril, the British Lion is roused. 
Quite late last night arrives a proposal from France of a 
mediation of England, Russia, and Prussia. The Cabinet 
are to deliberate upon this to-day. If Kussia be already 
leagued by treaty against one of the contending parties, 
she can scarcely be allowed to take a place in the Court 
of Arbitration. Our answer will therefore necessarily be, 
" Russia ? A neutral Power, or a party in the conflict with 
Austria?" 7 

' We are greatly pleased with our Ministry in these trying 
circumstances; they are wide awake, take a great deal of 
trouble, and are fully alive to the larger question which is 
included in the small one. Palmerston, on the other hand, 
is out and out NapoUonide, maintains France to be in the 
right on all points, calls the Emperor honourable, the object 
a useful one, of driving the Austrians out of Italy, and does 
not recognise any right on the part of Prussia to interfere in 
the affair. Clarendon is of precisely the opposite opinion, 
and takes infinite pains to make a stand against his former 
colleagues. Lord John is (for the moment) moderate, 
because the City would not re-elect him if he were to blow 
the war trumpet. The elections began yesterday. The 
Ministers still think they will be great gainers. 

4 We have sent orders to the Prince of Wales to leave 
Rome, and repair to Gibraltar. I hope the ship that is to 
take him will have arrived in Civite Vecchia. Alice got 
through her confirmation admirably. Alfred, who has bathed 
in the Dead Sea and in Jordan, is in Syria, but he will now 

7 As might hare been anticipated, this proposal came to nothing. Its object 
of gaining time for Fiance to complete her preparations was too obvious. 

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1859 WAR IN ITALY. 435 

return to the Fleet, which has been augmented to ten ships 
of the line. We are trying to get ready ten others for the 
Channel, four of which are already afloat. 

6 1 have suffered all last week from toothache, but am 
better to-day. . . . Farewell ! I would give .anything to be 
able to have a talk with you, and to hear your views.' 

All hope of averting war was now at end. Austria had by 
this time 140,000 men within Sardinian territory, and a few 
days afterwards the French force there was augmented to 
about 80,000 men. The King of Sardinia went to Alessan- 
dria on the 1st of May, to take the command of the army. 
Parma, following the example of Florence and Modena, was 
in revolution (3rd May), and the French Emperor had an- 
nounced his intention of placing himself at the head of his 
troops. Already a change in the feeling of Paris was percep- 
tible. The stir of preparation, the movement of troops 
through the city on their way to Italy, roused the latent war- 
like temper of the people. This feeling was fomented by a 
manifesto issued by the Emperor on the 3rd of May, in which 
he skilfully urged the fact of the Emperor of Austria having 
invaded the territory of Sardinia as a declaration of war 
against France, a violation of treaties, and a menace of the 
French frontiers. Why, it went on to say, this sudden in- 
vasion ? 

* Because Austria has brought things to this extremity, that ' 
either she must rule up to the Alps, or Italy be free to the 
Adriatic, 8 for in that country every nook of land which remains 

• In a letter to Lord Malmesbury (8th June) Lord Cowley mentions, on 
the authority of a person, who learned the fact from Count Walewski, that 
when this proclamation was under consideration, Count Walewski had passed 
many hours in endeavouring to persuade the Emperor to omit all reference to 
the Adriatic, observing that the expression would alarm all Europe, and 
moreover render it exceedingly difficult for the Emperor to conclude a peace, 
which should fall short of his own words. The Emperor demurred to Count 
Walewski's interpretation of the passage, which, he said, was simply the tic- 

FF 2 



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436 ATTITUDE OF GERMANY. 1859 

independent is a danger for her power/ . , f ' I wish for no con- 
quest,' the manifesto went on to say, * but I do wish to maintain 
firmly my national and traditional policy. I observe the treaties 
on condition that they are not violated in my despite. I respect 
the territory and the rights of neutral Powers ; but I proclaim 
far and wide my sympathy for a people whose history is 
mingled with our own, and which groans beneath foreign op- 
pression.' 

This was an appeal to which the national pride responded 
all the more readily that France was entering upon a war in 
the cause of freedom, unencumbered by an ally of sufficient 
magnitude to overshadow her own importance. The war, 
hitherto all but universally deprecated, grew daily more 
popular. Face to face with its hazards, however, the Emperor 
himself did not share the general exultation, and was perplexed 
with apprehensions, that the programme he had announced 
was beyond his means to execute, and that the war, once 
begun, might assume proportions more formidable than he had 
contemplated. On hearing of the passage of his troops into 
Sardinia, Prussia had intimated her intention of mobilising 
her army, and the minor States of Germany were clamorous to 
be led to the support of Austria. England, on the other hand, 
as mentioned by the Prince, was strengthening her fleet. She 
refused to see in the French Emperor the liberator of Italy, 
and was actively at work to establish a Volunteer force for 
the national protection against the contingency of a French 
invasion. 

In the latter movement the Prince took an active interest. 
He was fully alive to the difficulty of giving permanence to any 

pression of an opinion, but did not bind him in any way to maintain that 
opinion by the sword. This, however, is scarcely to be reconciled with the 
language of the Emperor in his address to his Ministers (20th July), on re- 
turning to Paris after the Peace of Villafranca : * I felt great reluctance to 
curb the ardour of our soldiers, to withdraw from my programme the territory 
from the Mincio to the Adriatic, and to see noble illusions and patriotic hopes 
vanish from honest hearts/ 



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1859 ESTABLISHMENT OF VOLUNTEER FORCES. 437 

purely voluntary body, dependent, to use his own words, * on 
temporary enthusiasm, and the temporary agreement amongst 
themselves of a certain number of individuals, who may pro- 
bably change soon after their first formation,' and who can 
transfer to others neither their original enthusiasm nor their 
mutual agreement,' He also attached full value to the doubts 
of military authorities as to the usefulness of such additions 
to our armed forces, ' on account of the want of discipline of 
such troops, the danger they might occasion in time of peace 
to the internal security of the country, and the probability 
that their irregular efforts would produce confusion at a time, 
when strict order, method, and unity of purpose are of most 
importance.' 9 

When, therefore, the Government decided to authorise the 
formation of rifle corps, as well as of artillery corps and com- 
panies in maritime towns with forts and batteries, the Prince 
applied himself to the study of the means of organising 
these bodies in such a way as to make them a permanent 
means of defence, on which the country might confidently 
rely upon an emergency. The results were embodied by him 
in an elaborate series of i Instructions to Lord-Lieutenants,' 
which he sent to General Peel, as Secretary of War, on the 
20th of May. It was by him found to be so complete, that 
he submitted it three days afterwards to the Cabinet, by 
whom it was adopted, and ordered to be issued forthwith.. 
Accordingly it was printed and sent out to the Lord-Lieu- 
tenants throughout the kingdom next day (25th May), and 
formed the code for the organisation and working of these 
Volunteer corps, the early development of which the Prince 
watched with the keenest interest, and with a natural pride 
in the success of the movement. 

While Europe was thus agitated by warlike alarms, the 

* These words are quoted from a Memorandum dated 6th Majr, 1859, by the 
Prince, embodying a plan for organising Volunteer artillery and' coast defence*. 

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438 LETTER BY THE QUEEN 1859 

hands of England were happily set free by the successful close 
of the Indian Mutiny, On the 14th of April, five days before 
Parliament was dissolved, the late Lord Derby in the House 
of Lords, and Lord Stanley in the House of Commons, moved 
the thanks of Parliament to the various civil functionaries, 
and to the army, native and European, for their eminent 
skill, courage, and perseverance during the military opera- 
tions by which the late insurrection had been suppressed. 
These thanks were voted with acclamation by both Houses. 
At the same time Her Majesty, considering that a personal 
acknowledgment of Lord Canning's services was due from 
herself, wrote to him the following letter, in which the insti- 
tution of what is now known as the Order of the Star of India 
is at the same time thrown out for his consideration : — 

'Buckingham Palace, 18th May, 1859. 

' The Queen must begin her letter to Lord Canning by 
expressing her joy and gratitude at the termination of this 
sad mutiny, which caused her such grief^ and so much misery 
to so many. 

' The Queen must also express again ber high sense of Lord 
Canning's services during these most tiying times. 

4 Lord Canning will hear from Lord Derby on a subject in 
which s.he takes a personal interest. It is the means of 
gratifying the personal feelings of the chief number of the 
native princes, binding them together in a confraternity, and 
attaching them by a personal tie to the Sovereign. 

' These results the Queen looks for in the foundation of a 
high order of chivalry. The statutes might be similar to 
those of the Garter, the Thistle, and the St. Patrick. The 
number of its members to be few, perhaps 20 or 24, the 
Viceroy to be Grand Master, the Queen the Sovereign of the 
Order. The members to be invested by the Viceroy in person, 
and thus do personal homage to him. All existing members 

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1859 TO LORD CANNING. 439 

to be summoned for the admission of a new one. The day 
for the investiture to be the anniversary of the assumption of 
the government of India by the Crown of England, 

' The Queen would wish also to obtain the means of confer- 
ring honorary knighthoods (making honorary members) of the 
Order on Eastern potentates, like the Shah of Persia, the 
sovereigns of Nepaul, Burmah, &c., as a means of extending 
influence over them. 

' The Queen has entered into all these details in order to 
give Lord Canning a notion of her ideas on the subject, and 
to elicit his opinion and views as to whether they will be 
feasible.' 

To this letter Lord Canning replied on the 4th of July. 
After thanking Her Majesty for her gracious expressions as to 
himself, he went on to say: — 

* Lord Canning ventures to believe that he is well able to 
figure to himself the feelings with which your Majesty will 
have welcomed the termination of the mutiny and rebellion in 
India, and of the chief miseries which these have brought in 
their train. He hopes that your Majesty will not have thought 
that there has been remissness in not marking this happy event 
by an earlier public acknowledgment and thanksgiving in India, 
as has already been done in England. 10 The truth is, that although 
this termination has long been steadily and surely approaching, 
it is but just now that it can be said to be complete in the eyes 
of those who are near to the scene of action. It is only within 
the last three weeks that the exertions of our troops on the Oude 
and Nepaulese frontier, and in some other parts, have been re- 
mitted, and almost every Gazette has recounted engagements 
with the rebels, which, although they have invariably had the 
same issue, would scarcely have consisted with a declaration 
that peace and tranquillity were restored. Now, however, mili- 

10 There had been a general thanksgiving in England on the 1st of May for 
the restoration of tranquillity in India. It was not until the 1st of July that 
Lord Canning felt himself in a position to order a similar thanksgiving in 
India, and to appoint for it the 28th of that month. 



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440 LETTER BY LORD CANNING. 1859 

tary operations nave fairly ceased, and the rains and the climate, 
which would make a continuance of these operations much to 
be regretted, will do their work amongst the rebels who are still 
in arms in the Nepaul jungles more terribly than any human 
avengers/ 

In replying to the principal topic of Her Majesty's letter, 
Lord Canning explained that, as honours in India had hitherto 
been generally accompanied by substantial gifts in land or 
treasure, it was impossible not to see that a mere grant of 
honours might not be appreciated, at all events by persons of 
a secondary position. He, therefore, felt keenly the obligation 
to be wary in advising Her Majesty to institute an honour 
which might come to be lightly esteemed. He had consulted 
some of the leading men in India, and finding much diversity 
of opinion among them, was pursuing his inquiries in the hope 
of being able to submit a complete scheme for Her Majesty's 
consideration. 

' Respecting, however, the main features of that part of the 
scheme to which alone your Majesty's letter refers, Lord Canning 
entertains no doubt. He ventures to think it very advisable that 
your Majesty should institute a high Order of Knighthood, of 
which your Majesty should be Sovereign, and to which princes 
and chiefs of high distinction should alone amongst natives be 
admitted. He believes that twenty would be a quite sufficient 
number of members ; probably more than sufficient if foreign 
princes should be counted as extraordinary members.* 

Lord Canning went on to point out the difficulties in the 
way of bringing the members of the Order together, as 
suggested by the Queen, for the admission of a new member. 
Their distance from the seat of government, their mutual 
jealousies, the hazard of quarrels between their several escorts, 
the impossibility of satisfying them as to the amount of 
ceremonial courtesy to be paid to each, made this virtually 
impossible. 

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1859 ORDER OF STAR OF INDIA. 441 

• It is to be feared that if ten or twelve of the leading princes 
of India were collected for a ceremony in which all were to join, 
it would be very difficult to instil into them that they could, 
without derogating from their dignity, merge for a time their 
individual family pretensions in their relationship as brothers of 
the same order or society. The feeling of equality or brother- 
hood, which lies at the bottom of all institutions of Western 
chivalry, is opposed to their prejudices and traditions; and, 
although this is no reason for not introducing such institutions 
amongst them, but rather the contrary, it does furnish ground 
for avoiding to press upon them — at all events, at first — any 
forms which would be unpalatable, and which would tend to set 
their feelings against honours which they must be taught to 
reverence.' 

Lord Canning then made a suggestion, which was subse- 
quently acted upon, that ' an infusion of English ordinary 
members on a limited scale would tend to raise the dignity of 
the Order in the eyes of all natives, without exception.' It 
would also prevent the possibility of the new Order being 
regarded as disparaging the two purely military Orders for 
natives which already existed in India, the Order of British 
India and the Order of Merit, the first for 'long, faithful, and 
honourable service,' and the second for ' personal bravery.' 

All these and other considerations presented by the officials 
who weie best acquainted with India were duly weighed, and 
resulted in the institution, on the 25th of July, 1861, of the 
Most Exalted Order of the Star of India. It comprises the 
Sovereign as Grand Master, and twenty-five Knights (Euro- 
pean and native), exclusive of Honorary Knights. The first 
investiture took place at Windsor Castle on the 1st of 
November, 1861, when his Highness the Maharajah Dhuleep 
Singh, Lord Clyde, Sir John Lawrence, General Pollock, and 
Lord Harris, were invested. 



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442 



CHAPTER XCIV. 

Compact as the party was, which was led by Lord Derby and 
Mr. Disraeli, their strength in Parliament lay not so much 
in this, as in the divisions and want of cohesion of their 
opponents. These had in effect no leader. Lord Eussell 
and Lord Palmerston were both bidding for that office. Each 
had his following, and on the question of Reform they had 
not been united in their policy. If this state of things 
continued, the Liberal party's chances of success in the appeal 
to the country were certain to be greatly diminished. On 
the night when Mr. Disraeli announced the intention of the 
Government to dissolve Parliament, Mr. Beraal Osborne, 
with his usual outspoken sagacity, called attention to this 
danger : — 

' As long/ he said, * as we have two noble lords who do not 
act in unison, but who are constantly striving which is to smell 
first at the nosegay, so long will there be honourable gentlemen 
on this side who will make excuse for voting with those who sit 
on the opposite side of the House. I therefore appeal to the 
patriotism of these two noble lords to come to some settlement 
of their differences. I believe the great Liberal party would be 
united, if that question could be satisfactorily solved. ... I 
therefore call upon these noble lords to come to some under* 
standing, before a general election takes place, as to which of 
them is to be our leader.' 

The hint was not thrown away. Steps were taken for 
effecting a reconciliation between the rival chiefs, and with 
such success that, before the new Parliament met, they had 



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1 859 LETTER BY THE PRINCE. 443 

come to an agreement that whichever of the two was charged 
with the formation of a Government should receive the co- 
operation of the other. 1 Meanwhile the Ministry, though 
gaining upon the whole at the hustings, did not receive the 
accession of strength which they had anticipated. When the 
Prince wrote the following letter (1 2th May) to Baron 
Stockmar, it was already doubtful whether they would not 
find themselves in a minority at the close of the elections : — 

'. . . Our elections have up to this time given the 
Ministry twenty-four additional votes — "too little to live, 
and too much to die with. 9 ' Palmerston continues to be 
wholly French, thinks everything right which the Emperor 
does, and that we are all wrong in not going hand in hand 
with him. The country's feeling is entirely the other way, 
and its instincts sound ; it asks leave to form a Volunteer 
Corps, and to be permitted to arm itself; this was granted 
yesterday. What the Austrians are about the gods only know. 
A gun that won't go off would be no bad device for them. 

'Malakoff took leave of us with tears in his eyes, and 
sees nothing but mischief for his country in his master's 
policy. . . . 

' Vicky is to come to us alone for the Queen's birthday on 
a visit for eight days. It could not be arranged otherwise 
just at present, and we must be very thankful for the visits 
despite its brevity. The delight of seeing her again, after 
all she has gone through, will in these troublous times de us 
a great deal of good. 

' The Prince of Wales reached Gibraltar on the 7th. He 
is to visit the south of Spain and Lisbon, and to return here 
the middle of next month, and in July and August to take 
up his head-quarters in Edinburgh for study. We are par* 
ticularly pleased with Colonel Bruce. 

4 Mr. Ashley's Life of Lord Palmerston, ?ol ii p. 154. 

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444 IRRESOLUTION OF AUSTRIA. 1859 

'May all be well with you! Old Humboldt will have 
caused you a pang. 2 In your ninety-second year you too 
shall have my permission to retire.' 

The inaction of the Austrians, to which the Prince alludes, 
was everywhere noted with surprise. They had refused to 
wait, when in common prudence they ought to have done so, 
and now they made no move, when every one expected them 
to make a rush, and attack the Sardinians and French with 
their greatly preponderating force. The first detachments of 
the French were short of artillery, their ammunition and com- 
missariat generally were still miserably defective, when they 
first came within striking distance of the Austrians, and they 
must therefore have fought with all the odds against them. 
But the Austrians, retiring when they ought to have advanced, 
did not attempt to molest their gathering forces, and quietly 
allowed them to go on strengthening their numbers and com- 
pleting their equipments. 

Nothing had in effect been done by the Austrians to turn 
to account the advantages with which they commenced the 
campaign, when the Emperor of the French reached Genoa 
on the 12th of May. The next day he issued a proclamation 
to 'The Army of Italy!' skilfully framed to excite their 
enthusiasm, and also to claim the sympathies of all who were 
weary of the ever recurring tale of oppression and misrule in 
Italy. * We are about,' it said, ' to second the struggles of a 
people now vindicating its independence, and to rescue it 
from oppression. This is a sacred cause, and has the sym- 
pathies of the civilised world.' As so stated, the cause was 
no doubt a sacred one. But that this was felt throughout 
Europe to be scarcely an appropriate definition of the motives 
of some of its chief supporters was very plainly indicated 

* He died on the 6th of May, 1859. Another European celebrity, of a very 
different order, Prince Metternich, aged 86, died the previous day. 



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1859 ALARM THROUGHOUT EUROPE. 44$ 

by the measures of protection, to which every other State felt 
immediately called upon to resort, Germany mobilised the 
greater portion of her vast army, Denmark raised her forces 
to 70,000 men, Switzerland placed 100,000 men under arms, 
England strained every nerve to get her 6eet into thorough 
fighting order, and the whole country set to work to organise 
an efficient Volunteer force. Russia, in the meanwhile, 
gathered no less than 200,000 men on the Austrian frontier, 
and in the neighbourhood of the Danubian provinces, 
Belgium alone, confident in her guaranteed independence, 
made no defensive move, and thus escaped the drain upon 
the national finances occasioned to the other States of Europe 
by the outbreak of a war, in which no one of them could feel 
sure that it might not ultimately become involved. 

The Emperor of the French could not be insensible to the 
feeling of antagonism and distrust, of which these military pre- 
parations spoke so emphatically. That England would main- 
tain absolute neutrality throughout the Italian conflict was 
certain. But it was by this time equally clear that Germany 
was not likely to do so. 3 The States of the Confederation 

* No facts pass more quickly out of remembrance than the facts of contempo- 
rary history. In the interval between 1859 and 1870 it had been generally 
forgotten, that, at the period alluded to in the text a powerful party in Germany 
was clamouring as loudly to be led to Paris, as the Parisians clamoured in 
1870 to be led to Berlin. Alsace and Lorraine were to be annexed, and 
France to be crippled for the remainder of the century. On the 1st of June, 
1859, an article from the Altgemeine Zsitung to this effect was published in The 
Times. Its tenor is sufficiently indicated by the following passage from The 
Times criticism upon it : — ' If we may trust the AUgemeine Zeitung, which does 
not often speak without some authority, all Germany, from Cologne to Swabia, 
from the Baltic to the Euxine, is possessed by one unanimous uproarious enthu- 
siasm for the conquest of Alsace and Lorraine, and for the occupation of Paris! 
Sober, steady-going old Germany is, we are told, dreaming quite seriously of 
some tremendous scheme of invasion, of which France is to be the victim, and 
we English are to be part agents in the work, but by no means participators in 
the gain.' The Courts where these ideas prevailed were told in most explicit 
terms by our Government, that, if Germany took part in the war, she would 
receive no assistance from England, and reminded that, without thi* assistance, 
her Northern coast would be exposed to France, and probably to Russia also. 



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446 DESIRE TO LOCALISE THE WAR. 1859 

were already demanding to be led to the support of Austria. 
Prussia, more discreet, and better understanding the danger 
which such a policy must involve, could nevertheless not venture 
wholly to dissociate herself from the prevailing sentiment of the 
North German States. She had accordingly made the French 
Ambassador at Berlin aware, that while she would not say 
that no territorial change must be effected by the war, she 
would not see inth tranquillity any heavy sacrifice inflicted 
upon Austria, nor any change made which would enhance 
the strength of one Power at the expense of another. To 
localise the war, therefore, and to leave Austria and France 
with her ally Sardinia to fight it out alone, became a matter 
of vital importance to the Emperor of the French. If he 
succeeded in this, and Austria were defeated, she might 
naturally, in resentment at being deserted by Germany, stand 
aloof and leave the other States of the Confederation to with- 
stand without her aid any attempt upon the Rhine, which 
France, flushed with victory, might afterwards make. 4 It was 
thus by no means clear, that it was for the interest of Germany 
that the war should be localised. To Russia, however, it was 
scarcely of less moment than to France that it should be so ; 
for, if Germany embarked in it, Russia must declare her policy, 
and either break with France or with Germany. For neither 
event was she prepared, and she was moreover without either 
the men or money required for an active participation in such 
a war as must then have ensued. 

With Europe divided, as we have seen, into Powers engaged 
in actual warfare, and Powers arming themselves to the teeth 
against the contingencies of a general war, the Emperor of 
the French might well view with some uneasiness the spirit 

4 Germany was veil aware of what she might expect in the event of any 
signal success of the French in Italy. ' I accompany the Emperor to Italy 
with pleasure/ said General Espinaase, ' for it is the first step towards the 
Rhine.' Phrases of this nature travel fast. 

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1859 LETTER BY EMPRESS OF THE FRENCH. 447 

which he had evoked by his crusade for Italian freedom. To 
stand well with England was never more important to him 
than at this moment, for he knew well how potential was her 
voice with the rest of Europe. On the 23rd of May, the 
Empress, who had been left behind in Paris as Kegent, wrote 
in his name to congratulate the Queen upon her birthday. 
In this etter it was mentioned that the Emperor hoped to 
localise the war, for a general conflagration (v,n embrasement 
gSniral) would be an incalculable evil for all the world. 
The Empress added that the Emperor and herself relied, that 
Her Majesty, who always had at heart whatever could tend 
to the peace of the world, would use her personal influence 
to attain this end, and that Prince Albert, ' whose influence 
is so great in Germany,' would do the same. 

The Prince was probably amused to be told — what was 
certainly not the fact — that his influence in Germany was 
great, and that it might be used to localise the war. There 
was only one way of doing that with certainty, and this was 
to confine the war to the expulsion of the Austrians from 
Sardinia. But the Emperor had by his proclamations 
already given it larger bounds ; and in replying to the Em- 
press (25th May) the Queen could only indicate where the 
true solution of the problem lay, and remind her corre- 
spondent that the issues which the Emperor had raised 
might have the effect of bringing Germany into the field. 

After thanking the Empress for remembering her birthday 
in the midst of so much to preoccupy her thoughts, the Queen 
went on to say : — 

' You are right in believing me to be animated by the same 
sentiments as ever for the maintenance of the tranquillity 
and peace of the world, and I assure you no one could desire 
more heartily to spare the whole world what you call so justly 
an incalculable evil. Alas ! my power in this respect is very 

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448 LETTERS BY THE QUEEN. 1859 

limited ; it is not I, but the Emperor who is all-powerful to 
that end I Desirous, as you say he is, to localise the war, he 
may attain this object without fail by not carrying it beyond 
the territory of Sardinia, to whose assistance he has gone, 
after he shall have accomplished his task by delivering it 
from the Austrian invasion. If he in turn invade the 
Austrian States, it is only natural that Germany, alarmed at 
seeing one of the most important members of her Confedera- 
tion attacked and in danger, should be impelled to come to 
her assistance, and that all Europe should take alarm at 
seeing the treaties put in question on which its peace and its 
existence rest.' 

This letter was written at Osborne, to which the Court had 
gone on the 21st. The Queen and the Prince were met at 
Portsmouth on their way thither by the Princess Frederick 
William of Prussia, who had come from Berlin on a brief 
visit, and to join in the family reunion on Her Majesty's 
birthday. The Duchess of Kent was to have been at Osborne 
to celebrate the day, but was prevented from coming by an 
illness so sudden and serious as to cause the greatest appre- 
hension. How serious this was may be seen by the following 
letter from the Queen to King Leopold : — 

1 Osborne, 25th May, 1859. 
' A thousand thanks for your dear kind letter and good 
wishes for my birthday I Albert, who writes to you, will tell 
you how dreadfully our great happiness to have dearest Vicky, 
flourishing, and so well and gay, with us, was on Monday, and 
a good deal yesterday also, clouded over by the dreadful 
anxiety we were in about dearest Mama. Thank Grod ! to-day 
I feel another being, for we know she is in a satisfactory 
state and improving in every respect But I am thoroughly 
shaken and upset, for the shock came like a thunderbolt 
upon U6, and I think I never suffered as I did these four 

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1 859 ILLNESS OF DUCHESS OF KENT. 449 

dreadful hours till we heard she was better. I hardly myself 
knew how much I loved her, or how my whole existence was 
bound up with her, till I saw looming in the distance the 
fearful possibility of what I will not mention. How I missed 
her yesterday I cannot say, or how gloomy my poor birthday 
on first getting up appeared. However, the danger is past, 
and, please God ! with care, we shall see her restored to health 
ere long. ... 

' Dear Vicky is a most charming companion.' 

Good accounts of the Duchess of Kent continued to arrive, 
but the stay at Osborne was nevertheless cut short, and the 
; Court returned to London on the 26th. On the 28th the 
Prince writes to Baron Stockmar : — 

' I can now give you really good news of Mama : the 
erysipelas is quite gone, and her appetite come back, only 
she still continues very weak. We were for some time, 
however, in great anxiety about her. 

' We found Vicky very well, and looking blooming, some- 
what grown, and in excellent spirits. The short stay here 
will certainly be beneficial both to her health and spirits. 

' In politics things have not mended. The war in Italy 

is at a standstill, but every day the odds increase against 

Austria, who, in my opinion, plays her cards most unskilfully. 

The Eusso-French mot d'ordre now is localiser la guerre. 

They hope in this way to tranquillise people's minds in 

Europe, and to make shorter work of Austria. The first 

Emperor writes to his son the Prince Eugene from the camp 

of Boulogne to Italy (just at the opening of the campaign of 

1805), " je vais donner une bonne legan a FAutriche y et aprls 

je reviencbrai a Tries prcjete" It does not do to ignore 

history altogether. Palmerston does so. 5 He seems to have 

* Within a year no one became more distrustful of the designs of France 
than Lord Palmerston. At this period, however, he would probably have 
thought nothing more unlikely than that he should have occasion to speak of 

VOL. IV. O O 



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450 LETTER BY THE PRINCE. 1859 

settled matters with Lord John, and we shall therefore have 
an onslaught on the Ministry in the new Parliament imme- 
diately after the 7th of next month. . . . 

' We get on tolerably well ; much work and excitement, 
and constant east wind, lower the tone and keep the mucous 
membranes in a state of constant irritation.' 

A few days afterwards (2nd June) the Prince again wrote : — 

' Our Parliament was completed two days since, and is to 
be opened on the 7th. In Italy the Austrians have, up to 
this time, acquitted themselves in the field no whit more 
skilfully than they did in diplomacy! If they shall be 
expelled from their provinces, and the war continues localised, 
the public here will give strong expression to the feeling, that 
they must not be allowed to conquer these provinces again, 
in order again to make them miserable. . . . 

' The French were taught by the experiences of 1813, '14, 

and '1 5, to keep quiet, and to this Europe owes forty years of 

peace ; should they be again victorious, all Europe to the 

last man will have to try a fall with them. If every State 

has to do this single-handed, the chances are, they will all 

sustain material damage. This is true even of ourselves. 

The people see or rather feel it ; the statesmen, so-called, 

on the contrary, take a pride in their own blindness, and 

show their activity in stupid phrases. 

the Emperor of the French as he does in writing on the next 4th of November 
to Lord John Russell. 'Till lately I had strong confidence in the fair 
intentions of Napoleon towards England, but of late I have begun to feel 
great distrust. ... He seems to have thought that he ought to lay his foun- 
dation by beating with our aid, or with our concurrence or our neutrality \ first 
Russia and then Austria, and by dealing with them generously, to make them his 
friend* in any subsequent quarrel with us. 1 — Ashley's Life of Lord Palmerston, 
vol. ii. p. 187. Again, writing to Lord Cowley, in April 1860 (ibid. p. 182) 
he says : ' The Emperor's mind seems as fuU of schemes as a warren is full of 
rabbits ; and, like rabbits, his schemes go to ground for the moment, to avoid 
notice or antagonism.' Had Lord Palmerston arrived at these conclusions a 
little sooner, what a world of trouble would have been spared to his country, 
his colleagues, and his Sovereign ! 



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1859 RESULT OF ELECTIONS. 451 

* Vicky's stay here has done her much good and us too. 
She is much matured physically and morally, and has all the 
elements of a distinguished character.' 

The issue raised by the appeal to the country having 
clearly been, in which of the two parties — the Conservatives 
or the Liberals — it had confidence, it was reasonable and 
legitimate that the verdict should be tested without delay. 
Never was it more essential than now, that there should be a 
strong Government, strong in itself and in the confidence of 
the nation. Although the elections had resulted in the 
return of only 302 Conservatives as against 350 Liberals, it ' 
might be that, among those claimed by the Liberal party, 
there were a number sufficient to turn the scale, who would 
be indisposed to displace from office a Government, which was 
now known to have been most unjustly accused of encouraging 
Austria, and which had otherwise acquitted itself generally 
with credit. The only way to ascertain this was by a motion 
of want of confidence on the first opportunity. That this 
course should be taken was Lord Palmerston's view ; but at 
the same time he let it be known that, if this motion failed, the 
Government ought, in his opinion, to receive a generous 
support for the remainder of the session. A meeting of the 
various sections of the Liberal party was held on the 6th of 
June, when it was arranged that a vote of no confidence 
should be moved by way of amendment on the Address. The 
meeting as a body declared a strong opinion in favour of 
absolute neutrality in the struggle which had commenced in 
Italy ; and so great was the change in public feeling as to the 
French alliance, that Lord Palmerston found but a lukewarm 
support from those present for his views in favour of cement- 
ing it more closely than before. 6 

4 Lord Cowley wrote to Lord Malmesbury (27th May) on the return of 
Count de Persigny from a short visit to London, < Fersigny seems very much 

o o 2 



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452 DEFEAT AND RESIGNATION OF MINISTRY. 1859 

On the 7th of June Parliament was opened by the Queen 
in person. In the House of Lords the Address was carried 
without a division. In the House of Commons an amend- 
ment was moved, expressive of want of confidence, by the 
Marquis of Hartington, and seconded by Mr. Hanbury. 
After an animated debate, extending over three nights, the 
amendment was carried (10th June) by a majority of thirteen 
in a House in which no fewer than 643 members voted. 
Lord Derby immediately placed the resignation of his Cabinet 
in Her Majesty's hands. 

The choice of his successor was a matter of no little diffi- 
culty. Both Lord Palmerston and Lord Russell had equal 
claims to the appointment, and Her Majesty was uninformed 
of the understanding come to between them, to which reference 
has already been made. It appeared to the Queen that an 
arrangement likely to be most agreeable to their feelings, and 
at the same time not unacceptable to their respective followers, 
would be one by which they could act under a third person. 
Lord Granville was accordingly sent for by the Queen, as a 
statesman in whom they had both been in the habit of placing 
confidence, and entrusted with the task of forming an Adminis- 
tration. 7 Autograph letters by the Queen to Lord Palmerston 
and Lord John Eussell, explaining Her Majesty's views and 

struck and disconcerted by the altered tone he found in England respecting 
his master.' 

* Much surprise was excited by the appearance next day, in a leading 
article in The limts, of a very detailed account of what had passed in the 
Queen's first interview with Lord Granville. This was, of course, due to a 
violation of confidence, on the part of some of those with whom Lord Granville 
had communicated. Attention was called to this flagrant infraction of a 
well-understood rule by Lord Derby in the House of Lords (17th June), when 
Lord Granville expressed his deep regret for the occurrence. In this particular 
case no mischief resulted ; but if the rule might be violated at will, the 
Sovereign would obviously be prevented from treating her Ministers with that 
unreserved confidence which can alone make a thorough understanding possible. 
Moreover, as noted by Her Majesty at the time, 'any Minister could state 
what he pleased, against which the Queen would have no protection, as she 
could not well insert contradictions or explanations in the newspapers herself.' 



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i«59 LORD GRANVILLE SENT FOR. 453 

soliciting their co-operation, were, at the same time, placed in 
Lord Granville's hands. With Lord Palmerston he found no 
difficulty, and his lordship at once wrote to the Queen that 
he ' deemed it his duty to afford Lord Granville his assistance 
and co-operation in forming an Administration : ' — 

'Those who unite to turn out an existing Government,' he 
added, ' ought to be prepared to unite to form a stronger Govern- 
ment than that which is to be overthrown ; and it was in this 
spirit, and with a deep sense of what is due by public men to 
your Majesty and to the country, that Viscount Palmerston and 
Lord John Russell, before they called the meeting at Willis's 
Booms, came to an agreement to co-operate with each other in 
the formation of a new Administration, whichever of the two 
might be called upon by your Majesty to reconstruct your 
Majesty's Government. That agreement did not extend to the 
case of any third person; but Viscount Palmerston conceives 
that the same sense of public duty, which led him to enter into 
that engagement with Lord John Russell, should also lead him 
to give assistance to Lord Granville towards the execution of 
your Majesty's commands.' 

Lord John Russell was not so tractable. He thought he 
could not give effect to his political views unless he was 
either Prime Minister or leader of the House of Commons. 
This was a fatal obstacle to the formation of a Ministry 
under Lord Granville, as Lord Palmerston would not go to 
the House of Peers, and could not be expected to resign the 
position which he had for some time held as leader of the 
Liberal party in the House of Commons. Lord Granville 
therefore at once (12th June) abandoned the attempt, and 
Her Majesty transferred the task to Lord Palmerston. 

By the 15th of June Lord Palmerston was able to submit 
a list of his Administration for Her Majesty's approval. 
Lord John Russell had stipulated for the office of Foreign 
Secretary, and Lord Clarendon, unwilling to undertake any 
other post, was thus lost to the Ministry. In other respects 



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454 . NEW MINISTRY 1859 

the Ministry was very strong, and included leading men from 
all the sections of the Liberal party. Lord Granville, Lord 
Campbell, Sir George Cornewall Lewis, Sir George Grey, 
and Sir Charles Wood represented the old Whigs ; the Duke 
of Newcastle, the Duke of Argyle, Lord Elgin, Mr- Gladstone, 
Mr. Sidney Herbert, and Mr. Cardwell secured thtf adhesion 
of the Peelites; while the Duke of Somerset, Mr. Milner 
Gibson, and the offer of a place to Mr. Cobden — which, how- 
ever, he declined— conciliated the more advanced Liberals. 

By the 20th the Ministerial arrangements were complete, 
and on that day the Prince wrote to Baron Stockmar : — 

' Our new Ministry is formed and in office. It is looked' 
upon as the strongest that was ever formed (so far as the 
individual talent of its members is concerned), and it is true, 
that, down to the most subordinate offices, important people 
have been appointed, as, for example, Irish Secretary, Mr. 
Cardwell ; Secretary of the Treasury, Frederick Peel ; Duchy 
of Lancaster, Sir George Grey, &c. &c. In this it contrasts 
greatly with the last Ministry. ... On the other hand, that 
Ministry was compact, and the ranks of its 305 supporters 
were closed up like a battalion. • • •' 

The Derby Administration, though beaten, were not dis- 
credited, and they left office satisfied that the Conservative 
party stood better with the country than it had done since its 
disruption in 1846. They were reported by their leaders, as 
we gather from a passage in the letter just quoted, to be in 
good heart and humour, grateful for the Sovereign's support 
and favour, satisfied with their late tenure of office and the 
numbers they had gained at the elections. They were con- 
sequently less eager for office, and likely to be more easily 
kept in hand by the distinguished champion, who had now 
fairly established their confidence by the way he had rallied 
their disjointed forces, and by the conspicuous eloquence and 

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1859 UNDER LORD PALMERSTON. 455 

skill with which he had fought the uphill battle of the last 
year. Their patience was destined to be very fully tested, for 
seven years elapsed before the party again returned to power, 
which they did for another brief period in June 1866, on the 
fall of the Ministry formed by Earl Eussell after the death 
of Lord Palmerston in October 1865. 

Strong as the new Ministry was, it held within itself a 
serious element of discord in the variety of views entertained 
as to English policy on the Italian question. The Queen's 
Speech and the Addresses of both Houses pledged the nation 
to ' a strict and impartial neutrality. 9 The enthusiasm for 
Italian freedom made it hard, however, for Lord Palmerston 
and the Secretary for Foreign Affairs to keep within the 
limits thus prescribed. Mr. Gladstone's sympathies were 
very strongly with Italy ; so, too, were those of Mr. Milner 
Gibson. But, if their enthusiasm might have blinded them 
in some degree to the personal objects of the French 
Emperor, and have predisposed them to join with him in 
measures of active intervention for the liberation of Italy, 
the other members of the Cabinet, however deeply they felt 
with the Italian people, were in no way disposed to swerve 
from the line which the voice of Parliament had prescribed. 
This balance of opinion in a Cabinet composed of so many able 
men was not without its advantage at a crisis when any 
deviation from a strict neutrality might have led to general 
confusion. It fairly reflected, moreover, the conflicting feel- 
ing of the country, divided between its desire to see Italy 
emancipated from the military and ecclesiastical despotism 
by which it had so long been blighted, and its grave distrust 
of the ulterior objects of those who had stepped forward to 
effect this emancipation. 

Meanwhile events had advanced with startling rapidity at 
the seat of war. Wherever the Austrians encountered the 
French they had been beaten. At Montebello, Palestro, 

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456 FRENCH VICTORIES IN LOMBARDY. 1859 

Magenta, Melegnano, they had been repulsed with heavy 
loss, and on the 24th of June they sustained a crowning 
defeat at Solferino. But these French victories, especially at 
Magenta and Solferino, had been dearly purchased. The I06S 
of ten thousand of his best troops at Solferino, the horrors of 
a campaign under a scorching sun, where' battle had suc- 
ceeded battle with so much rapidity, the prospect of a pro- 
tracted struggle before the fortresses of the Quadrilateral, 
were of themselves enough to turn the Emperor's mind to 
thoughts of peace. While continuing his advance, therefore, 
he instructed his Ministers at home to endeavour to set 
England in motion to arrange the terms of an armistice. A 
basis for an arrangement was with this view submitted on the 
6th of July by Count Persigny to Lord John Russell, with an 
intimation that if England apprpved it, and would ask for an 
armistice, the Emperor would at once grant it. Count 
Persigny's proposal included the surrender of Lombardy and 
the Duchies to Sardinia, the erection of Venetia into an 
independent State under an Archduke, and other conditions 
to which it was most unlikely that Austria would assent. 
The terms were communicated by Lord John Eussell, without 
offering any opinion upon them, to the Austrian Ambassador, 
Count Apponyi, by whom they were rejected after communi- 
cation with Vienna. 

Neutrals as we had declared ourselves to be, it was obvious 
that we could not entertain Count Persigny's proposal. 
Austria had lost Lombardy, but she still held Venetia. How, 
then, could we ask her to surrender it ? On the other hand, 
to have supported a proposal, so very far short of what Italy 
had been led to expect, would have drawn upon us the odium 
of that country. Moreover, as Lord Palmerston wrote 
(6th July) to Lord John Russell, — 

1 The scheme throws wholly out of the question the wishes 
of the Italians themselves, and we are asked to propose to the 

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;I8S9 ARMISTICE OFFERED BY FRANCE. 457 

belligerents a parcelling out of the nations of Italy, as if we 
had any authority to dispose of them. I cannot be a party to 
Persigny's scheme. If the French Emperor is tired of his war, 
and finds the job tougher than he expected, let him make what 
proposals he pleases ; bnt let them be made as from himself, 
formally and officially, and let him not ask ns to farther his 
suggestions and make ourselves answerable for them/ 8 

Finding England immovable, the Emperor determined to ^ 

act for himself, and next day (7th July) sent General Fleury (p 
to the Austrian camp with propositions for an armistice. He 
had many reasons for desiring a termination to the campaign. 
Hitherto victory had declared itself upon his side ; but the 
issue of the struggle in Venetia, protracted as that struggle 
was sure to be, might damage his hitherto untarnished laurels. 
There was, moreover, every prospect that further French 
successes would bring Germany into the field, and in that 
event he was now aware that he could not count upon the 
support of Russia. 9 The spread of the revolution in the 
Duchies, and the active measures of Cavour to secure their 
annexation to Sardinia, was an incident on which he had not 
calculated, and one that ran counter to his policy. The 
action of his allies within the Papal States also, from which 
the Emperor of Austria had withdrawn his troops in June, 
and which had immediately risen in revolution, was likely to 
bring him into embarrassing collision with the Pope, and to 
alienate the support of the clergy at home. His army was 
becoming discontented with its losses, and alarmed with the 
increase of sickness in its ranks. It was, moreover, dissatisfied 
with its allies, and disgusted, as that of Charles Albert had 
been in 1848, with the apathy of the Italians to the cause, 

• Mr. Evelyn Ashley's IAfe of Lord Palmereton, vol ii. p. 160. 

9 ' The Emperor questioned Schouraloff much as to the chance there was 
that Russia would make war upon Prussia if the latter declared against 
France. The answer was, " None in the world." * — Letter from Colonel Claremont 
to Lord Cowley. Valeggio, 5th July, 1869. 

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458 MEETING OF EMPERORS, 1859 

for which it had been proclaimed they were ready to rise as 
one man. At home people were crying out that the war was 
a war ' without an object,' and asking what was to be the 
equivalent for so formidable an expenditure of men and 
money. On the other hand, Austria might be made a Mend 
in the future by the concession of moderate terms to her 
now ; and as the other Powers of Europe had refused to sup- 
port France in her enterprise, the Emperor no deubt felt 
himself free to bring it to a close without previous consulta- 
tion with them. Add to this, that the Emperor was a kind- 
hearted man. Upwards of one hundred thousand men had 
been either killed or seriously wounded in the struggle, and 
horror at a further sacrifice of life and limb for a doubtful 
result was not likely to have been without effect in deter- 
mining his resolution, even although it was obvious that such 
a peace as he could alone hope to obtain would leave the pro- 
blem of the future of Italy very much where he found it, and, 
while disappointing the hopes which he had raised, could in 
no way promote the permanent interests of France. 

An armistice for seven days was signed on the 8th of July, 
and an arrangement made, on the invitation of the Emperor 
of the French, for a meeting between himself and the Emperor 
of Austria upon the 11th. Again (10th July) Count Persigny 
sought the active intervention of England by the way of 
4 moral support* to a demand by France, to be made at the 
interview next day, of terms practically identical with those 
formerly suggested, and which included the separation of 
Venetia from the Austrian Empire. To this request Lore? 
Palmerston and Lord Russell were disposed to accede; but 
a different view was taken both by Her Majesty and by the 
Cabinet, and Count Persigny's request was accordingly 
declined in time for him to telegraph to the Emperor the 
failure of his application. 

It was fortunate this course was taken, for, had it not 

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1 859 AND PEACE OF VILLAFRANCA. 459 

been taken, the distinction between moral and material sup- 
port in such matters is too fine to have saved England from 
the imputation of having departed from ' a strict and impar- 
tial neutrality.' Moreover, as the event showed that, while the 
French Emperor was not disposed to insist upon the cession of 
Venetia, the Emperor of Austria would have continued the war 
rather than give way on this point, we should have found our- 
selves in the ignominious position of urging Austria to accept 
worse terms than she was able to obtain single-handed from 
her victorious enemy. For by the agreement concerted between 
the Emperors at Villafranca next day, Austria was to retain 
Venetia, her sole concession in regard to it being that it was 
to become one of a Confederation of Italian States, to be pre- 
sided over by the Pope as honorary President. Lombardy 
was given up, but it was stipulated that the Dukes of Tuscany 
and Modena should be reinstated. At the same time Austria 
seems to have come under a loose kind of verbal understand- 
ing not to use force for the purpose, which her Emperor 
said would not be necessary. He refused, however, to sign 
the copy of the Preliminaries sent to him, in which it was 
positively declared that recourse should not be had to force. 10 
The point was not pressed by the Emperor of the French, 
who was under the impression, that the Duchies would be 
ready to take back their sovereign without demur. 11 

The announcement of this arrangement took the world by 
surprise. It satisfied no one but the Emperors themselves. 

19 This is stated, obviously upon authority, by Lord Cowley, in a letter to 
Lord Falmerston, 4th of September, 1859. 

11 It seems that, once in the presence of his Imperial brother, the Emperor 
of the French found himself unable to press for the terms which he had come 
to the interview prepared to demand. A few days afterwards he said to 
Prince Metternich: Vat eu bien raisan cT avoir redouti tentrevue avec ea 
MajesU VEmpereur, votre touverain, car fitaie bien stir quelle me subjuguerait.' 
On the other hand, the Emperor of Austria was greatly impressed by the tact, 
the graceful bearing, the clearness of mind, and the considerate delicacy of the 
French Emperor. 



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460 TERMS OF PEACE 1859 

Austria gained rather than lost by being free of Lombardy, 
and the Emperor Francis Joseph, in a manifesto issued three 
days afterwards, declared that i he had accepted peace only 
after being convinced that he could obtain more favourable 
terms by direct negotiation with the Emperor of the French, 
than those to which the three neutral Great Powers were likely 
to give their moral support as a collective project of media- 
tion. ' ia On the other hand, the Emperor of the French, in 
his proclamation announcing the peace to his army, affirmed 
that 'the principal object of the war was attained: Italy 
will for the first time become a nation.' And he added, in 
words which proved in the end to be true in a way he could 
not have foreseen : * Italy, henceforth the mistress of her own 
destinies, can only blame herself, if she does not steadily 
advance in order and in liberty.' To France he vindicated 
the step he had taken, on the ground that the war was assuming 
a magnitude no longer in proportion to the interests which 
she had in the war. The plea was accepted, but the wits of 

12 It appeared from this, that the Emperor had been led to believe that not 
only England, bnt Russia and Prussia also, were prepared to give their ' moral 
support ' to the terms suggested by Count Persigny to the English Govern- 
ment A point which to this hour remains unexplained is, what was the evidence 
on which the Emperor of Austria acted. On the 11th of July the Emperor of 
the French wrote to him : ' Ay ant fait connaitre les premieres propositions que 
favais adressies a votre Majentt, non-seulement les Cabinets de Londres et de 
St.-Pkerabourg ont dlclart Mreprets a Us aoutenvr trls-vivement t mate le Gouverne* 
ment Prussian a fait dire que, si VAutriche refusait, die ne devrait plus compter 
sur eon concoure ni materiellement ni moralement.' Against his copy of this 
letter, the Prince Consort has written : ' Quite untrue, as nobody knew any- 
thing of these stipulations.' On the 12th of July the Emperor of Austria 
wrote to the Emperor of the French : — ' Je remercie votre Majesty de la preuve 
de confiance qu'clle me donne en mefaisant part de V acceptation par les trots 
Cabinets de ses premieres propositions,* These letters very soon became known 
at head-quarters in England, Prussia, and St. Petersburg. But, even if they 
had not, it was impossible to leave without notice the Emperor of Austria's 
words quoted in the text. Accordingly Lord John Russell, in a Despatch (27th 
July) instructed Lord Augustus Loftus, our Ambassador at Vienna, to give a 
formal denial to the statement, that England had adopted any terms as proper 
to be submitted to Austria. A similar denial had previously been given by the 
Prussian Government through Baron Werther, their representative at Vienna, 



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1859 RELUCTANTLY ASSENTED TO BY SARDINIA. 461 

Paris summed up the general feeling in the phrase, 'La 
France a fait une mperbe guerre, et FAutriche a fait une 
8uperbe paix. y 

The King of Sardinia, who had not been consulted, 18 had no 
alternative between carrying on the war alone, or accepting 
the terms which had been concluded. He adopted the latter 
course, marking his vexation by adding after his signature to 
the document, 6 je ratifie cette convention en tout ce qui me 
concerned No middle course, however, was open to Count 
Cavour. He was stunned by this termination to the high 
hopes engendered by the promises at Plombi&res, and by the 
successes of all his plans up to this point. He would have 
nothing to do with a peace in which he knew there were no 
elements of stability. Accordingly he at once placed his 
resignation in the King's hands, and left the camp for Turin. 
His chagrin was shared by the whole Liberal party through- 
out Italy; but he had raised a spirit in the Duchies and 
the Papal States, which was not to be quelled, and which 
set itself to work out his project of a Northern Italian king- 
dom, and succeeded in doing so, in defiance of the settlement 
agreed upon at Villafranca. 

By the Germans the sudden close of the war was received 
with something akin to dismay. They had before them the 
prospect of the French army returning flushed with victory, 
and probably bent on seeking fresh laurels upon the Bhine, 
while Austria, incensed at being left unsupported in her recent 
struggle, might withdraw the assistance on which the Confede- 
ration might otherwise have relied. Under this apprehension 



M On this point, however, there is a difference between the statements 
made at the time by the King of Sardinia, and Count Walewski on behalf of 
the Emperor, which is quite irreconcilable. The King protested that he knew 
nothing of the preliminaries of peace until they were concluded, and that he 
signed them as the only means of preventing a rupture. Count Walewski, on 
the other hand, assured Lord Cowley, that the King had urged the armistice, 
and had been even more in favour of peace than the Emperor himself. 



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462 FEELING OF ENGLAND 1859 

they were now inclined to resent on Prussia her interference 
to prevent them from making common cause with Austria, 
while Prussia, on the other hand, felt herself discredited in the 
eyes of the States, of which she aspired to be the central and 
the leading power. 

In England the general feeling was unquestionably one of 
disappointment that so heavy a sacrifice of human life had 
been made to so little purpose. The Italian question, as the 
Prince wrote to a friend (16th July), 'is not brought a bit 
nearer its solution, and the Confederation with the Pope at 
its head sounds like a bad joke.' None were more deeply 
disappointed than Lord Palmerston and Lord John Russell. 
Some days before (7th July) the latter had written to the 
Queen : — c The Emperor must either give independence to 
Italy, or be stigmatised as the betrayer of the Italian people.' 
On hearing of the peace (13th July) Lord Palmerston, whose 
hitherto unbounded confidence in the Emperor of the French 
was now rudely shaken, wrote to Count Persigny protesting 
in the strongest language against its terms. 14 He pointed 
out that, by becoming a prominent member of an Italian 
Confederation, the footing of Austria in Italy was more firmly 
established than before. Austria, he added, ' ought, on the 
contrary, to be strictly excluded from all right of interference, 
political or military, beyond her own frontiers. If this be 
not done, nothing is done, and everything will very soon have 
to be begun all over again.' The inference was perfectly just. 
But to tell a belligerent, who had two days before concluded 
a peace, that he ought to break the conditions on which he 
had obtained it, was surely not the business of the Prime 
Minister of England. 



14 See this letter printed at pp. 161 et seq. of Mr. Ashley's lAfe of Lord 
Palmerston, vol. ii. The reasoning of the letter is unanswerable; but the 
French Emperor and his Government might fairly resent being told, in such 
warm terms, that French blood had been profusely shed in vain. 



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1859 AT RESULT OF WAR IN ITALY. 463 

In returning (18th July) to Lord Palmerston a copy of 
his letter to Count Persigny, Her Majesty wrote as 
follows : — 

' The effect of placing Austria in an Italian Confederation 
will certainly be to legalise that influence for the future, the 
supposed illegal exercise of which was put forward as one of 
the reasons for the late war ; yet it is one of the conditions 
of peace bought by much blood and the loss of a rich pro- 
vince by Austria. We did not protest against the war, and 
Lord Palmerston personally wished France success in it. We 
can hardly now protest against the peace, and Lord Palmer- 
ston will, the Queen is sure, see the disadvantage which 
would accrue to this country, should he make it appear as if 
to persecute Austria were a personal object with the first 
Minister of the Crown. 

' The Queen is less disappointed with the peace than Lord 
Palmerston appears to be, as she never could share his 
sanguine hopes that the " coup d'Stat " and " the Empire " 
could be made subservient to the establishment of indepen- 
dent nationalities, and the diffusion of liberty and constitu- 
tional government on the Continent. The Emperor follows 
the dictates of his personal interests, and is ready to play 
the highest stakes for them, being himself entirely uncon- 
trolled in his actions. We are cautious, bound by considera- 
tions of constitutional responsibility, morality, legality, &c. 
Our attempts, therefore, to use him for our views must prove 
a failure, as the Russian peace has already shown. This 
should be kept steadily in mind when the question of the 
Congress comes to be considered, in which we are probably 
intended to supply the Emperor's shortcomings.' 

There can be no doubt that it was in the hope that 
England would press for a Congress, which would effect some 
kind of settlement of the Italian question, and supersede the 

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464 FRANCE WISHES FOR A CONGRESS. i8$£ 

arrangement of Villafranca, that the Emperor Was now 
seeking to procure our assent to one, upon the plea that it 
had always been his wish that a regulation of the Italian 
question should be the act of united Europe. The extreme 
warmth with which Lord Palmerston denounced any measure 
short of the expulsion of Austria from Italy must have 
quickened the Emperor's hopes, that England would rescue 
him from the embarrassing position in which he was at this 
moment placed. What he heard from all sides, within a few 
days after signing the preliminaries of peace, had made him 
painfully conscious that the settlement of Villafranca was in 
truth no settlement. This was, however, scarcely a reason 
for interference on the part of England. While making 
a barren declaration of adherence to the Treaties of 1815, 
she had stood looking quietly on while they were being 
broken, and broken, moreover, for the advantage of France — 
the Power which at that moment she dreaded more than 
any other in the world. France had taken upon herself 
the burden of a cause with which all the sympathies of 
England unquestionably were in unison, but for which she 
was not prepared, as a nation, to spend either men or money. 
Finding the task she had undertajen quite beyond her ' 
means, France had now suddenly paused in her course, 
asserting that she had opened up for Italy a way to freedom, 
of which it lay with herself to reap the advantage. In 
doing so, she had, no doubt, thrown the whole Italian 
peninsula into a state of confusion, to which the other States 
of Europe could not be indifferent. But, however strongly 
the English Government might feel and regret this, it was 
impossible for them to hold the language used in Lord 
Palmerston's letter to Count Persigny, unless England were 
prepared to go to war with Austria to do what France had 
already failed in doing. This beyond all doubt she was not ; 
neither, if she were so prepared, could the Emperor of the 

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1859 OBJECTIONS TO A CONGRESS. 465 

French have joined her with honour, after accepting the con- 
ditions agreed to at Viilafranca. 

The situation was unquestionably perplexing. ' The Em- 
peror Napoleon,' Her Majesty wrote to Lord John Russell 
(13th July), 'by his military successes, and great apparent 
moderation or prudence immediately after them, has created 
for himself a most formidable position of strength in Europe. 
It is remarkable that he has acted towards Austria now just 
as he did towards Russia after the fall of Sebastopol. But, 
if it was our lot then to be left alone to act the part of the 
extortioner whilst he acted that of the generous victor, the 
Queen is doubly glad that we should not now have fallen into 
the trap to ask from Austria, as friends and neutrals, con- 
cessions which he was ready to waive.' I6 Her Majesty's satis- 
faction at having escaped this danger was naturally much 
increased when the Government learned, as they did within a 
few days, that Austria would have fought to the last ex- 
tremity rather than concede one inch of ground which she 
had not already lost. Perplexing as the situation was to 
Europe generally, every day was likely to make it more per- 
plexing to the Emperor of the French, for every day would 
show more clearly how impracticable was the scheme of paci- 
fication to which he had agreed. For the present there was 
nothing to be done on the part of England but to wait for the 
development of events. 

In the midst of the anxiety to which the new phase of 
the Italian question had given rise, the Queen and Prince 
were profoundly grieved by the tidings of the death from 
diphtheria of the young Queen of Portugal, who but a year 
before (supra, p. 219) had impressed them with the deepest 
admiration for her rare qualities of mind and person. On 

" The letter from which this extract is made was read to the Cabinet next 
day, and Lord John Russell wrote to the Queen : * The Cabinet concurred very 
much in the opinion stated by your Majesty.' 

VOL. IV. H H 

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466 DEATH OF QUEEN OF PORTUGAL. 1859 

the day the intelligence was received the Queen wrote to 
King Leopold : — 

Osborne, 19th July, 1859. 
' You will, I know, share our deep sorrow at this terrible 
catastrophe at Lisbon. It is a misfortune of so distressing and 
hopeless a kind, destroying the peace and happiness of poor 
young Pedro in one moment, crushing his young and already 
so serious and melancholy life, and carrying off a pure angel 
who was made for him, and who was too pure and good for 
this world I But there he is isolated — all gone, nothing left, 
not a child, not anything to live for ! It breaks my heart to 
think of him, and of their dear excellent parents. That poor 
delicate mother, who had already felt the separation so 
seriously, — that truly excellent father, who must already be 
so weighed down by difficulties and anxieties ! l6 One must 
bow down and submit, trusting and feeling sure that all is for 
the best — the why we cannot comprehend. You will, I am 
sure, dear uncle, understand that this dreadful event has 
thrown politics much into the background, for, after all, what 
are they in comparison to 8Uch grief and desolation ? ' 

Writing, the following day, to his daughter at Berlin, the 
Prince speaks of the same sad event : — 

i Before I thank you for your dear letters of the 13th and 
1 6th, I must to you also give a vent to my grief for the death 
of the excellent Stephanie, so sudden as it was. What a 
woeful and unlooked-for, and, in its probable consequences, 
annihilating calamity for poor Pedro I Nothing has made 
me so sad for many a day, and I cannot get out of my mind 
the lovely vision with the angel look in her eyes. I am 
infinitely grieved, too, for the poor parents. What a blow for 
them ! Even before this the poor Prince must have been 

M The Prince yon Hohenzollero, it will be remembered, had since November 
1858 been the head of the Prussian Ministry. 



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<i859 LETTERS BY THE PRINCE. 467 

much oppressed by the responsibility which rests upon his 
shoulders, and now this trouble ! I tremble for Pedro, whose 
deficiency in vivacity and cheerfulness, amid the earnestness 
and zeal with which he addressed himself to the business 
of his station, found its only compensation in his home 
happiness with his dear young wife, and so sensitive as 
he is too! As yet we know merely that the newly dis- 
covered malignant affection of the throat was the cause of 
her death.' 

From the Prince's letters to the same correspondent at this 
time we extract two very characteristic passages : — 

4 Eoyal personages, to whom services are being constantly 
rendered, often forget that these involve all sorts of sacrifices 
to those who render them, which, if those to whom they are 
rendered would only keep their eyes open, might be obviated 
and spared. But it is just the most faithful servants and the 
worthiest friends, who are most silent about their own affairs, 
and must therefore be thoroughly probed before we get at 
the truth.' 

* ... He will turn out an altogether wretched man if he 
live long enough, which I doubt his doing; for without the 
love of others man cannot be happy, and one must himself be 
capable of loving, and must love, in order to be loved.' 

In his letters to Berlin the Prince takes especial pleasure in 
telling of the quaint sayings and doings of little Princess 
Beatrice. Thus we find him writing a few days later : — 

* The little aunt makes daily progress, and is really too 
comical. When she tumbles, she calls out in bewilderment, 
" She don't like it, she don't like it ! " and she came into 
breakfast a short time ago (with her eyes full of tears) moan- 
ing, " Baby has been so naughty, poor baby so naughty," as 

H H 2 

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468 THE PRINCESS BEATRICE. 1859 

one might complain of being ill, of having slept badly, &c. 
How much sound philosophy lies in this expression; the 
child felt she was not responsible for her naughtiness, and 
regarded it rightly as a misfortune for the "I," which 
appears to her still as a third person, that is, as something 
outside herself (als Object).' 



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469 



CHAPTER XCV. 

What war and rumour of war in Europe import, in the shape 
of encroachment upon the fund which every citizen has to 
spend, was brought vividly home to every British household 
by the financial statement made by Mr. Gladstone to the 
House of Commons on the 18th of July. His calculations 
showed an estimated revenue of 64,340,000/. against an 
estimated expenditure of 69,207,000/. This deficit had been 
caused by exceptional outlay in our naval and military 
establishments, and it was proposed to be met chiefly by 
raising the Income Tax from fivepence to ninepence in the 
pound on all incomes above 150/. a year. Heavy as this 
increase was, its necessity was admitted, and the Budget 
passed with practically general approval. The country was 
determined to be secured against all contingencies, and, being 
so, it was not disposed to grudge the price at which this 
security could alone be obtained. 

Not many nights before, Lord Lyndhurst, then in his 
88th year, had spoken with undiminished force and fervour, 
in the House of Lords, of the duty of strengthening our 
defences with no sparing hand. It was on herself, and on 
herself alone, that England, as he showed, must rely. We did 
not stand well with the Continent of Europe, and recent 
events had not improved our position in this respect. 

* If I am asked,' he went on to say, ' whether I cannot place 
reliance in the Emperor Napoleon, I reply with confidence that 
I cannot, because he is in a position in which he cannot place" 



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470 INCREASE OF NATIONAL DEFENCES. 1859 

reliance on himself. He is in a situation in which he must be 
governed by circumstances, and I will not consent that the safety 
of this country should be placed on such contingencies. Self- 
reliance is the best road to distinction in private life. It is 
equally essential to the character and grandeur of a nation. . . . 
The question of the money expense sinks into insignificance. 
It is the price we must pay for our insurance, and it is a moderate 
price for so important an insurance. I know there are persons 
who will say, " Let us run the risk ! " Be it so. But, my 
Lords, if the calamity should come, if the conflagration should 
take place, what words can describe the extent of the calamity, 
or what imagination can paint the overwhelming ruin that would 
fall upon us ! ' 

It was such thoughts as these that reconciled Englishmen 
to a most serious addition to their burdens, but, while they 
did so, strengthened their bitterness of feeling towards the 
author of their apprehensions. On the other hand, the 
Emperor of the French, personally and by his Ministers, did 
his utmost, after , the Italian campaign, , to persuade the 
English Government that his intentions were purely pacific, 
and that he intended to place his forces by land and sea upon 
a peace footing. In a conversation with Lord John Russell 
(20th July) Count Persigny followed up a statement to this 
effect by expressing his wish, as an earnest of his sincerity, 
for a Commercial Treaty between Great Britain and France, 
by which France might be enabled to diminish her protective 
duties. He was ready to have the plan of such a Treaty 
drawn up, and this plan, Lord John Russell replied, he should 
be ready to consider. A few days afterwards (26th July) a 
semi-official article appeared in the Moniteur, asserting 
that the increased burdens laid on the English people for 
4 National Defences ' were not due to France, but were caused 
solely by extravagant misapprehensions as to French designs. 

No abatement of the English mistrust was, however, 
produced by these and similar representations; and the 



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1859 INTERVIEW OF LORD COWLEY 471 

Emperor reverted to the subject in an interview with Lord 
Cowley at Chantilly. What then took place is reported as 
follows to Lord John Russell (7 th August) : — 

* More than once, in the course of the evening,' Lord Cowley 
wrote, ' His Majesty reverted to the state of public opinion in 
England with regard to himself. He asked whether there was any 
change for the better, observing that he could not comprehend 
the suspicions entertained of him — that he had done nothing to 
provoke them, and that they were most unjust. The idea of 
his invading England was, he said, so preposterous that he could 
laugh at it, were it not evident to him, that there were people in 
England who seriously believed it. 

1 1 replied, that an agent must never shrink from telling the 
truth, however disagreeable, and I must admit, therefore, the 
existence in some minds of the suspicions to which His Majesty 
had referred ; nor could I say, that I saw much diminution of 
them as yet. There were many causes which had given rise to 
them — His Majesty's sudden intimacy with Russia after the 
Crimean War — his sudden quarrel with Austria — the equally 
sudden termination of the war, which made people suppose that 
he might wish to carry it elsewhere — the name he bore, with its 
antecedents— the extraordinary rapidity with which the late 
armaments had been made — the attention devoted to the Im- 
perial navy — its increase — the report of the Naval Commission 
of 1848, which showed plainly that the augmentation of the 
navy was directed against England. All these matters had 
made people look about them, and their eyes had been suddenly 
opened to the fact, that within easy reach of the British shores 
were 500,000 men, with a steam fleet as powerftd, or more power- 
ful than any that could be brought against them. This state of 
things had created a great deal of alarm ; more, perhaps, than 
was necessary. But a great nation could not leave her fate to 
the chapter of accidents, and we were in fact merely resuming that 
place by sea, which we had before the invention of steam. "In 
fact, Sire," I said, " the whole question lies in a very narrow com- 
pass. England and France are the two most powerful nations of 
the world. Neither can, nor will submit to the supremacy of 
the other. France is a military Power. England, as compared 
.to France, is not. England is a naval Power. So is France. 



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471 WITH EMPEROR OF THE FRENCH 18*9 

If the balance of power between them is to be preserved, Eng- 
land must be the stronger by sea, as France is b y land, other- 
wise England would be at the mercy of France." 

' The Emperor somewhat disputed the justice of these remarks, 
observing that his 500,000 men were required to hold his posi- 
tion upon the Continent, and that I had not taken into account 
the insular position of Great Britain, which made her, as it were, 
a large fortress. But upon my observing, that an insular posi- 
tion was of little value, unless there was a fleet to keep off 
marauders, his Majesty said he would not dispute the point any 
longer ; but all he hoped was, that our press would not pervert 
facts, and say that the extra armaments of England were called 
for by the armaments of France, for it was not true that France 
had armed. 

4 1 did not pursue this delicate matter further, but I said I 
was convinced that it was in His Majesty's power, if he desired 
it, to recover the confidence of England. Let him appeal to 
the common sense of the English people by facts rather than by 
words, and he would soon see common sense get the better of 
suspicions. The Emperor replied, that he desired no more, and 
that, if he had spoken on the subject, it was because he was 
afraid that the feelings of the British people would arouse the 
corresponding sentiments in France, and this was not desirable. 

' I defy any one to listen to the Emperor,' Lord Cowley adds, 
* when he is speaking of the English Alliance, without attaining 
the conviction, that the preservation of it is that which he has 
most at heart. I feel equally certain, that he does not dream 
of a war with England, and that his amour propre is wounded 
by our suspicions of his intentions ; but, as I observed to him, 
no man can tell what unforeseen circumstances may produce, 
and that it is not so much with the events of the day, as with 
the possible contingencies of the future, that we have to deal.' 

The Emperor of the French had every reason to desire to 
stand well with England at the present moment ; for it was 
to her he looked to extricate him from the dilemma in 
which he had placed himself by the hastily adjusted peace 
of Villafranca. That peace had concluded the war, but it had 
left all the questions undecided for which the war had been 



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1 859 MOVEMENT IN ITALY. 473 

waged. What prospect was there that the inhabitants of 
the revolted Duchies of of the Bomagna would agree to a 
Confederation of States, of which Austria would of necessity be 
the most influential, and in which the hated element of 
ecclesiastical interference would be perpetuated by the 
nominal presidency of the Pope ? No sooner were the terms 
of peace known, than the Duchies declared they would not 
receive back their sovereigns ; neither would the Bomagna 
resume her allegiance to the Pope, who on his part showed 
himself less disposed than ever to be coerced into measures of 
reform. In the arrangement of Villafranca, the wishes of 
Italy, — of an Italy bent upon regulating her own. destinies 
for the future, — had been left out of consideration. Naturally, 
therefore, she refused to be bound by that arrangement, and 
was not to be cajoled into acquiescence in it. The Emperor, 
however, had tied himself hand and foot by the preliminaries 
of peace against taking further action, in the only direction 
which could have satisfied the national aspirations. He was, 
therefore, anxious to get the whole question of Italian re- 
organisation and reform taken up by a European Congress, 
on which, if it failed to resolve the problem, the burden of 
the discredit might be thrown, which now rested upon 
himself. 

Acting upon this view, immediately on his return to Paris, 
he broached the proposal of a Congress in the only quarter, 
where he had reason to think, from the avowed opinions of 
the head of the Ministry, and of the Foreign Secretary, it 
would be warmly entertained, because there the disappointment 
was most keenly felt at the inconclusive results of the Italian 
campaign. Accordingly, on the 1 8th of July, Count Walewski 
wTote to Count Persigny, instructing him to bring the subject 
under the notice of the English Government. The Emperor, 
he said, had all along wished to see the Great Powers uniting 
in a definitive arrangement of the affairs of Italy, and he 

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474 ANXIETY OF EMPEROR OF THE FRENCH 1859 

hoped, therefore, that they would now meet, either in Congress 
or in Conference, to come to an understanding upon all the 
questions arising out of the actual state of that country, and 
bearing upon the general interests of Europe. 

A letter the same day from Lord Cowley to Lord John 
Russell threw further light upon the Emperor's purpose. 
Count Walewski, in the course of a long interview, had in- 
formed him, that the Emperor was most anxious for a Congress. 
By this time, however, it was understood that in the negotia- 
tions at Villafranca the Emperor of Austria had decisively 
objected to this idea. Lord Cowley, therefore, asked Count 
Walewski, whether, after what had occurred, the Emperor of 
the French was not under an obligation not to press such a 
proposal. To this Count Walewski replied that, out of motives 
of delicacy, his master might not like to propose, but that 
he was at perfect liberty to agree to, a Congress, if proposed 
by any one else, 

' " But," I asked/ wrote Lord Cowley, ' " supposing Austria 
were to refuse to attend a Congress, what will you do ? " " We 
shall be ready to attend one without her ! " was the reply. 

' I remarked, that to settle an Italian Confederation and Papal 
reforms without Austria, if Austria were to be a member of the 
one and to recommend the other, was very like acting the play of 
Hamlet without Hamlet. Count Walewski agreed in this, bat 
seemed to hope that Austria would give way on this point, not- 
withstanding she had declared, as I recalled to his recollection, 
that she would not associate herself with a non* Roman-Catholic 
Power in giving advice to the Pope/ 

On reading Lord Cowley's letter, Her Majesty (20th July) 
wrote to Lord John Russell as follows 5 — 

c The Queen has read Lord Cowley's letter with much in- 
terest. She does not think that it furnishes material sufficient 
to justify this country in embarking on the dangerous ex- 
periment of a Congress ou Italian affairs. England has been 

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1859 FOR AN EUROPEAN CONGRESS. 475 

enabled to remain clear of the war, and is still more happily 
clear of the peace which terminates it. 

' Both were undertaken and completed without the inter- 
vention of England, or consultation with her. . The desire on 
the part of France to use her now for the purpose of solving 
the complications which she has brought about, or to serve 
as a scapegoat for their being left unsolved, is both obvious 
and intelligible. . . . Two Emperors, who were at war with 
each other, have suddenly concluded personally a peace, and 
we have before us merely the account of one of them through 
his Minister. This Minister's account adniits, that his 
master pledged his word on certain points, but thinks it not 
binding, if England will propose its being broken. This is 
a duty which honour forbids us to undertake. 

' The two Emperors have bound themselves in the Treaty 
"to ask the Pope to introduce indispensable reforms." Have 
they done so ? And are they prepared to show the Pope's 
answer ? They engaged " to favour an Italian Confederation 
of which the Pope is to be the head." Have they communi- 
cated with the different States on the subject, and ascertained 
their willingness ? Without these two preliminary steps they 
cannot ask Europe to carry their scheme into effect, and, in 
fact, only one of them asks for it, after having promised the 
other that he would not do so. . » •' 

Pledged as England was to absolute neutrality, it was 
felt by the. Queen and Prince, that too much care could not 
be taken not to do anything which might seem to be at 
variance with this pledge* The belligerents having fought 
out their quarrel, and come to terms, it would have been 
obviously incompatible with our attitude as neutrals, to 
treat upon the execution of the peace with one of them, 
without having heard the other. If a Congress was to 
be of any use, it could only be so by imposing conditions 

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476 ENGLISH OBJECTIONS TO A CONGRESS 18ft 

upon Austria more onerous than those she had obtained from 
France. The sentiments of Lord Palmerston and of Lord 
John Bussell in regard to these terms were well known, and 
had been already complained of by Austria as those of an 
adversary. For England, therefore, to have taken a promi- 
nent part in urging a Congress would have been at once to 
embroil her with Austria, and to have incurred the risk of 
driving that Power to seek, in an intimate alliance with 
Bussia and Germany, the means of resistance to the pressure 
of her opponents. By the following letter from the Prince 
to Baron Stockmar the anxiety may be judged, which was 
felt at the Palace, lest the two leading Ministers should be 
carried into some imprudence by their enthusiasm for the 
Italian cause : — 

4 1 have an absolute yearning to be able to hold converse 
with you ; were it but by one little line, now and then, if 
you would only write it, or have it written to me. We live 
in sorely trying times. The unexpected peace has led to 
much which every one who was able to look ahead must have 
anticipated ; Prussia quite discredited, Germany endangered, 
Italy discontented, the French army left in a bloodthirsty 
humour, the Emperor Napoleon almost compelled to com- 
pensate himself by new manoeuvres (Streiche) for his modera- 
tion, Austria thrown into his arms, and made revengeful 
against Prussia and England, Bussia overjoyed, the hands of 
the Pope and the Ultramontanists strengthened. All this 
might be endured, but the position of England is in danger 
of becoming dishonourable. Palmerston is furious about 
the position of Austria, and Lord John about the way Italy 
has been deceived. The former is even bent on taking 
vengeance on Austria, and, very unwisely, wants to use 
the Emperor Napoleon for the purpose, and to force him to 
recall the concessions which he has made. The latter is 

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,i*59 AS PREMATURE. 477 

anxious for a Congress in London, where he may play the 
liberator and benefactor of Italy . • • What the Emperor 
wants is a Congress, not a Confederation; and it is for 
England to effect this.' 

The answer to be returned to the French proposal formed 
the subject of grave deliberation by the Cabinet. It could 
never suit the dignity of England to meet in Congress 
merely to register the agreement of Villafranca. Neither 
could it be supposed, that we should be allowed to alter its 
conditions, and to outbid France in popular measures for 
Italy. What the Emperor of the French avowedly wanted 
was to get rid of the Confederation scheme, without seeming 
himself to violate his obligations to the Emperor of Austria. 
But there was no evidence that Austria was of the same mind, 
or prepared to accept any modification of the Villafranca 
agreement. Indeed all that was known of her determination 
pointed to an exactly opposite conclusion. 

This being so, the Cabinet decided that it was prema- 
ture to deal with the question, until the preliminaries of 
peace had been reduced to the form of a Treaty, as it had 
been stipulated they should be, by plenipotentiaries of Austria 
and France, who were to meet forthwith at Zurich for the 
purpose. When their labours were at an end, it would be 
known whether or no such alterations had been assented to, 
as would remove some or all of the palpable defects of the 
preliminaries. If then Austria waived her objections to a 
Conference, 1 and Russia and Prussia were desirous that it 
should take place, the English Government would not interpose 

1 Of this there was very little prospect, for within the next few days it was 
ascertained, that, while the Emperor Francis Joseph remained of the opinion 
that no Congress was necessary, yet he would not oppose it, if desired by 
France : but only provided ' that the Congress was not to pronounce on any of 
the stipulations which must form part of the Treaty of Zurich/ This was 
Austria's answer, as reported (4th August) by Count Walewski to Lord 
' Cowley. 

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473 COMMONS* DEBATE AS TO A CONGRESS. 1859 

obstacles to the generally expressed wish of Europe to arrive 
by this channel at a solution of the Italian complications. 
In the meantime it was thought best to delay giving any 
opinion on the questions with which the Treaty of Zurich 
would have to deal. 

The Queen, on being informed of a decision which was 
entirely in accordance with the views she had herself ex- 
pressed, wrote (24th July) to Lord John Russell: — 'With 
this step ' (the execution of the Treaty of Zurich), ' Austria 
and France will have redeemed the promises which the two 
Emperors may have made to each other, and the expression 
of our opinion will then no longer have the appearance of 
an attempt to urge one of them to break these promises to the 
other. The Queen will be most happy if anything can be done 
by this country to improve the condition of Italy. Sir James 
Hudson's letter stating that Count Cavour is in dread of an 
alliance of the three Emperors, which he hopes that constitu- 
tional Italy, led by England, may successfully resist, shows 
the danger of driving Austria by the apparent hostility of 
England absolutely into the arms of the two other Emperors, 
and Lord John will admit that Count Cavour's resistance 
to such an alliance would have a poor chance, even if led by 
England.' * 

The suggestion of a Congress led to a lengthened debate 
in the House of Commons (8th August), on a motion of 
Lord Elcho for a Resolution condemning the policy of 
taking part in any Conference for the purpose of settling the 
details of a peace, the preliminaries of which had been 



* Cavour, who had resigned some days before (14th July), called on Sir James 
Hudson, our Ambassador at Turin, on the 20th July, before leaving for 
Cbamounix. 'He said, the danger England and Constitutional liberty in 
Europe now has to encounter will arise from an alliance between France, 
Austria, an1 Russia .... He thinks the Constitutional States may hold 
their own against this Alliance, provided England will lead them/ — Letter, Sir 
J. Hudson to Lord John Russell, 20th July, 1859. 



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1859 PROROGATION OF PARLIAMENT. 479 

arranged between the Austrian and French Emperors. The 
proposed Resolution, as Lord Russell said, ' asked the Crown 
not to do a thing, which it had never been asked to do by 
anybody, and which there was not the smallest intention to 
do.' Lord Palmerston denied that any approbation had been 
given to the proposal of Count Walewski for a Conference. 
The Government, he added, were not proposing to go into 
a Conference at all, but if they did, it would not be to upset 
the arrangements of 1815. The House was satisfied with 
these assurances. Feeling, no doubt, that to bind the 
Ministry not to go into a Conference might not only be im- 
politic, but also discourteous towards the other European 
Powers, it showed no disposition to support Lord Elcho's 
motion, which was withdrawn, having served its purpose of 
eliciting from the Ministry a statement of the course which 
they had decided to pursue. 

Five days afterwards (13th August), Parliament was 
prorogued by Commission, after a session too brief and 
broken to be productive of important legislation, and the 
Queen and Prince were free to seek fresh air and rest in a 
short excursion to the Channel Islands. To the Prince these 
little marine excursions were a source of much enjoyment. 
He had become a fairly good sailor, and, besides the com- 
parative rest enforced upon him by the absence of the hourly 
distractions of his life on land, sea air acted as the best of 
tonics upon his constitution. During his stay at Osborne, 
where the Court had been since the 10th of July, the Prince 
had added to his other labours the preparation of an Address, 
which he had undertaken to deliver in September as President 
of the British Association. That he found it no easy task is 
apparent from what he says in the following letter (10th 
August) to his daughter in Berlin : — 

' To-day we have the Council for the prorogation of Par- 
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480 EXCURSION TO CHASSEL ISLANDS. 1859 

liament (my blessing go with it !) and we intend to go on 
board in the evening to try our fortune on the sea for two or ' 
three days. By rights we were to have gone yesterday, and 
been back on Friday, but the mere mention of the subject 
produced a north-east gale, which has howled and raged since 
the day before yesterday without intermission. • • . 

' We think of moving northwards on the 29th. In Aber- 
deen, on the 14th of September, the British Association for 
the Promotion of Science are looking forward to me (horror 
of horrors!) as President; and what is more, from that 
functionary they expect an opening Address. I read thick 
volumes, write, perspire, and tear what I have written to 
shreds in sheer vexation. A quite charming addition to my 
usual occupations.' 

After a three days' run, in which Jersey, Guernsey, and 
Alderney were visited, and the fortifications in progress at the 
last of these places were inspected by the Prince, Osborne 
was reached on the 1 5th. More than the usual number of 
despatches were awaiting the Queen's attention. In these 
and the completion of his Address to the British Association 
the Prince was at once immersed. On the 18th he wrote to 
Baron Stockmar : — 

4 1 have no time to-day to write, but as I have not had any 
for some days past, and see little prospect of having any for 
some days to come, I will just say, that we are well, which I 
know is a matter of sincere interest to you, and express my 
daily wish, that it may be well with you also. The Duchess 
of Kent celebrated her seventy-third birthday yesterday, with 
quite youthful animation. She stayed at the fete, which 
was thoroughly rural, with games and dances in the open air, 
from four till half-past seven, and seemed to be well amused 
and not to be at all tired in the evening. 

c In Guernsey you were brought forcibly to my thoughts. 



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1859 THE DUCHIES AND THE ROMAGNA. 481 

How long is it now since we were there together ? Fourteen 
years ! We have not been there since, and we were received 
with as much enthusiasm as then ! Our voyage back, how* 
ever, was as stormy as our voyage then was, if you re mem- 
ber what that was like. 

' In politics no change of any kind has taken place . • . 
The difficulties in the way of carrying out the peace are 
naturally very great, and do not need any intermeddling on 
our part, which, moreover, would be sure to avert the respon- 
sibility for the misfortunes which result from it from the 
real culprits, and to throw it upon us. 

*I am at work upon the Address for the Aberdeen JVfeet- 
ing, which is a very stiff task for me. On the 29th we 
purpose to break up for Scotland. 

* P.S. — The letters of King Pedro from Lisbon are heart- 
rending, but his loss was indeed fearful. Stephanie's 
appearance, I think, made a deep impression upon you 
as it did upon us. She was truly a most distinguished 
person.' 

The Cabinet, as we have shown, had decided that there 
should be no intermeddling in the affairs of Italy, until the 
Treaty of Peace was signed at Zurich. The negotiations there 
proceeded very slowly ; and, indeed, it was not till the 10th 
of November that they were completed, and the preliminaries 
of Villafranca were reduced to official shape in two separate 
Treaties, It had been obvious from the first that the Duchies 
would not take back their sovereigns, and that the Romagna 
would follow their example. They were bent on being an- 
nexed to Sardinia, as the Power on whom they could alone 
rely to vindicate the national cause ; and the unanimity of 
feeling, as well as the powers of self-government, which they 
had shown since the deposition of their former rulers, proved 
that they were not likely to be shaken from this resolution, 

TOL. IV. 1 1 

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482 ENGLISH NEUTRALITY. 1859 

True, it was irreconcilable with the stipulations of Villafranca; 
and if the Treaty to be signed at Zurich were to ratify these 
stipulations, what would happen? The problem, however, 
was not of our making. It was not, therefore, for us to solve 
it ; but for those by whom the difficulty had been created. 
. This was what the Cabinet desired. They, in common with 
the Queen and the Prince, would have rejoiced to see a free 
and strong Italy. But England had declared she would take 
no part in the Italian war. Now, that war was not over 
until the peace was concluded, and it was our first duty 
to do nothing to prevent it from being* formally ratified. 
Whether the peace of Zurich was or was not to be prolific of 
future strife depended on many contingencies. In the mean* 
time it was not for England to raise difficulties which might 
make peace impossible, by pressing on either Austria or 
France schemes for a settlement of Italy, which were incon- 
sistent with what these Powers had already concerted between 
themselves. If in their own interests they could not arrive 
at a modification of their agreement adequate to the necessities 
of the case, the promptings of a third party were likely to be 
of little avail. The danger to England might even become 
serious, if these promptings had the effect of producing a 
state of things in Italy, which might 'force Austria and 
France to make common cause against her, and, backed by 
the rest of Europe, to isolate England, and make her re- 
sponsible for the issue.' These were the words of the Queen 
in writing to Lord John Russell on the 23rd of August, and 
Her Majesty added : * It will be little satisfaction then to 
reflect upon the fact, that our interference has been merely 
ddvice? 

These words had been drawn from the Queen by a proposal 
of Lord John Russell's to submit to the French Government 
a scheme for the settlement of Italian affairs, which implied 
that they should not ratify the preliminaries of Villafranca. 

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•1859 LETTER BY THE QUEEN.' 48 j 

When the drafts of the Despatches embodying this proposal 
were submitted to Her Majesty, she wrote (24th August) to 
Lord John Russell : ' If these drafts have any meaning or ob- 
ject, it must be to show to France, that it would be her 
interest to break in the Treaty of Zurich the leading con- 
ditions to which she pledged herself to Austria at Villas 
franca. 

' Those preliminaries contained but three provisions affecting 
Austria. 1. That Austria was to cede Lombardy. 2. That 
an Italian Confederation should be encouraged, of which 
Venetia was to form part. 3. That the Dukes of Tuscany 
and Modena were to return to their Duchies. 

6 The two latter clauses must be considered as compensation 
for the losses inflicted in the first. Both the latter are now 
to be recommended by England, a neutral in the war, to be 
broken. 

6 Now either it is expected that our advice will not be 
listened to, in which case it would not be useful, and hardly 
dignified, to give it, or it is expected that France will follow 
it. If, on finding herself cheated, Austria were to feel herself 
obliged to take up arms again, we should be directly answer- 
able for this fresh war. What would then be our alternative? 
Either to leave France in the lurch to re-fight her own battle, 
which would entail lasting danger and disgrace on this country, 
or to join her in the fresh war against Austria — a misfortune 
from which the Queen feels herself equally bound to protect 
her country.' 3 

In this expression of opinion the Queen considered she was 

s How correctly Her Majesty estimated the position of affairs appears from 
a Despatch of Lord Cowley's to Lord John Russell next day (25th August), in 
which, reporting an official interview between Count Walewski and Prince 
Metternich, he mentions that the Prince had told Count Walewski, in so many 
words, ' that under no circumstances would his Government recognise the new 
order of things [in the Duchies], and that the least they had a right to expect 
of France was that she should follow the same course.' 



1 1 2 



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4*4 ILLNESS OF PRINCE CONSORT. 1859 

merely carrying out and protecting the resolution of the 
Cabinet to abstain from action until the Treaty was signed 
at Ziirich. Only, however, by a reference to the Cabinet 
could the difference between the Foreign Secretary and her- 
self be satisfactorily determined. The Cabinet accordingly 
met (29th August) and decided on adhering to their former 
resolution. How much pain and anxiety a discussion of this 
nature cost both the Queen and the Prince need not be said. 
In a letter to his daughter at Berlin written the same day 
(24th August) as that from the Queen just quoted, the Prince 
ascribes an attack of illness mainly to this cause: — 

* For two whole days,' he wrote, * I was unfortunately not 
quite well, and I am not right yet. I have had a choleraic 
attack, accompanied with great malaise, which it will take 
some time to shake off. I believe worry about political affairs 
. . • is chiefly to blame for it.' 

The 26th, the Prince's birthday, always a fi&te-day in the 
Royal household, was troubled with conferences on the 
Italian imbroglio. * We had, alas,' the Prince notes in his 
Diary, 'discussions during the day with Lord Palmerston.' 
As the Prime Minister was no less impatient of quiescence 
in the affairs of Italy than the Foreign Secretary, discussion 
was useless about what was in effect a radical difference of 
view as to what the Cabinet had or had not already decided. 
Grave issues were, however, at stake, and these were certain 
to press themselves upon the Prince's attention, even among 
the many tokens of affection and regard from far and near 
which that day always brought him. 

The next day he writes to his daughter, acknowledging her 
birthday gift : — 

c The finest present which you can make me is that which 
you have made — the assurance that you are happy. Fain 

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1859 THE COURT AT BALMORAL. 485 

would I have embraced you that day ! Beatrice was charm- 
ing at table in the evening for the first time. . . .' 

The same day the Queen and Prince had gone to Ports- 
mouth to inspect the 32nd Regiment, the heroes of Lucknow, 
who had just returned from India. 

On the evening of the 29th the Court left Osborne for 
the Highlands, and after spending a day and night in Edin- 
burgh, reached Balmoral on the 31st. On the 3rd of Sep- 
tember the Prince wrote to Baron Stockmar : — 

' I write to-day once more from Balmoral, where we 
arrived on the evening of the 31st. We travelled for the 
first time by night, straight through from London to Edin- 
burgh, in order to gain a day for that place. The experi- 
ment proved a complete success, and the Queen was not at 
all tired. We are sensible, however, of the rapid change of 
temperature. We left Osborne with 70° Fahrenheit, and the 
air sultry, and found in Edinburgh only 40°, with a violent 
gale blowing. Here, too, it is fearfully cold. Balmoral 
looks, however, very pretty, and all the new grounds would 
certainly please you. 

4 In Edinburgh I had an Educational conference with all 
the persons who are taking part in the education of the 
Prince of Wales. They all speak highly of him, and he 
seems to have shown zeal and good will. Dr. Lyon Playfair 
is giving him lectures on chemistry in relation to manu- 
factures, and at the close of each special course he visits the 
appropriate manufactory with him, so as to explain its 
practical application. Dr. Schmitz (the Rector of the High 
School of Edinburgh, a German) gives him lectures on 
Eoman history. Italian, German, and French are advanced 
at the same time; and three times a week the Prince 
exercises with the 16th Hussars, who are stationed in the 
city. 

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486 LETTER BY THE PRINCE CONSORT. 1859 

- ' Mr. Fisher, who is to be the tutor for Oxford, was also in 
Holyrood. Law and history are the subjects on which he is 
to prepare the Prince. Alfred left us in London, and reached 
Paris the same time we arrived in Edinburgh. We have 
already heard from Marseilles that he had sailed for Malta. 
His ship is to return at the end of February, and he will then 
prepare for his confirmation at Easter. He is previously to 
pass his examination as midshipman. When eighteen, that 
is, two and a half years hence, he will become lieutenant. 
The service is really very hard, but he continues to take 
great pleasure in it. 

' Our work is hard enough too • . . Last month we had 
come to a complete deadlock, and had to request that the 
whole Cabinet should be convened from all the ends of the 
earth, in order that we might get, through an expression of 
its opinion as a body, some assurance that the principles 
agreed upon between it and the Queen should be upheld, 
and we succeeded. • . . 

4 With our difficulties also in regard to the Indian Army 
we have not made any way. The whole English troops of 
the old Company have mutinied, and 6,000 men have asked 
for and received their discharge. Notwithstanding this, the 
Indian Council is calling for more English regiments,- which 
are not to belong to the regular army, or to recognise the 
Commander-in-Chief as their head, but are to be appointed 
and commanded by the Council direct.' 4 

The mutinous outbreak in the local European forces in 
India, to which the Prince refers, had been the subject of 

4 Baron Stockmar's reply to this letter was very brief. It found bim suffer- 
ing under one of his severe fits of depression. On the 14th of September he 
wrote: 'Feeble but sincere thanks for the continuing proofs of your kind 
thought of me. Increasing weakness is wearing away my already so greatly 
enfeebled powers, and so I hope soon to be able to hunt with the Landj&ger- 
meister Wangenheim in those fields to which, as I have just heard, he preceded 
me two days ago.' 



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1859 ITALIAN AFFAIRS. 487 

serious anxiety to the Indian Government, On the transfer 
of the Government of India from the East India Company to 
the Crown, these forces contended that they were under no 
obligation to continue their services without fresh enlistment 
and fresh bounty as soldiers of the Crown. Happily, before this 
occurred, tranquillity had been restored throughout the Indian 
Continent, but the spirit shown by the local forces revealed 
a serious danger, and helped materially towards the passing in 
the following year of the Act which put an end to the distinc- 
tion between the local European army and the Queen's forces. 

The re-affirmation by the Cabinet of its decision not to 
interfere in the affairs of Italy proved to be well timed. On 
the 23rd of August Lord Palmerston had written to Count 
Persigny, urging that the clause of the preliminaries of peace 
at Villafranca relating to the Duchies ought not to find a 
place in the Treaty of Zurich ; and that it was in the interest 
of France that the Duchies should be annexed to Sardinia. 
This letter was forwarded to Count Walewski, and was by him 
discussed with Lord Cowley. If the article respecting the 
Duchies, Count Walewski said, were to be omitted, there 
would be no treaty of peace at all. To refuse Austria's 
claim to have it inserted would be virtually to resume a 
state of hostilities, for there would be no cession of Lombardy 
if a peace were not signed, and this was a state of things to 
which the Emperor was not prepared to subject himself. 
With regard to the annexation of the Duchies to Sardinia, 
the establishment of a kingdom with twelve millions of 
inhabitants on the French frontier could not, Count Walewski 
contended, be considered an advantage to France. If such 
an annexation were effected, then France would be obliged 
to demand the cession of Savoy to herself, and what, he 
asked, would Her Majesty's Government say to that ? 

Lord Palmerston's letter was a private rather than an 
official communication. But its effect at head-quarters in 

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488 LETTER FROM LORD COWLEY. 1859 

Paris was soon apparent in the language of Count Walewski 
to our Ambassador there. Tuscany was now pressing annexa- 
tion on Sardinia ; and on the 3rd of September Lord Cowley 
found Count Walewski ' under some anxiety, real or feigned, 
that the negotiations at Zurich would come to an untimely 
end, and that Austria would again take the field/ Count 
Walewski then told him that he could not understand the 
policy of the English Government, encouraging Sardinia, on 
the one hand, as he was credibly informed, to annex Tuscany ; 
on the other, declaring officially that they would take no part 
in a Congress of which Austria was not a member. But, he 
went on to say, — 

' It was certain that, if the King of Sardinia consented to the 
annexation, Austria would neither sign a Treaty of Peace with 
Sardinia, nor would she appear at a Congress. There would then 
be a deadlock in the affairs of Italy ; and, if Austria took up arms 
against Sardinia, he did not think that France would consent to 
make further sacrifices to prevent her, unless she were sure of 
obtaining some compensation for these sacrifices. If, however, 
Her Majesty's Government were prepared to assist France in 
dislodging Austria altogether from Italy, and to take up arms 
for that purpose, the whole question would assume another 
aspect, and under those circumstances he did not say, that the 
Emperor would not reconsider his decision, which he had now 
taken, not to recommence the war. I replied,' continues Lord 
Cowley, from whose letter (4th September) we quote, ' that I 
did not believe that Her Majesty's Government had given the 
advice to which he had alluded, for that I knew from you 
privately, that you had declined counselling Lajatico, when he 
questioned you on the subject. Walewski rejoined, that others 
then spoke in your name without authority.' 

No sooner was Lord Cowley's letter made known to the 
Queen than Her Majesty wrote to Lord John Russell (8th 
September), expressing extreme uneasiness at its contents. 
The Cabinet had again and again decided not to interfere by 
active advice with the Peace to be made at Zurich. Lord 



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I $59 ANNEXATION OF SAVOY HINTED AT. 489 

Palmer8ton'8 opinion might not have been officially given ; 
but the danger of such private communications had lately 
been unpleasantly illustrated by the use made at Villafranca 
of similar expressions of individual opinion to Count Persigny. 
These had been transmitted to the Emperor, and employed 
at Villafranca as implying assent by England to certain con- 
ditions of peace with a desire of pressing them upon Austria, 
when in truth no opinion had been expressed by the Govern- 
ment to justify such an inference (see supra, p. 460). Who 
could say what use might not be made of the views of Lord 
Palmerston to justify action, of which it would be impossible 
for either the nation or the Government to approve ? The 
hint about the annexation of Savoy was full of significance ; 
and in writing to Lord John Russell Her Majesty did not fail 
to draw his attention to it : — 

4 Count Walewski's version of the stipulations of Villa- 
franca,' Her Majesty wrote, ' with reference to the means to 
be employed to restore the Archdukes, does not preclude the 
possibility of France sanctioning the employment of force by 
Austria. There is, indeed, an alarming alternative suggested 
by him ; viz. the joining of England with France for a war 
to drive Austria out of Italy altogether. France might 
fairly claim our joining for this purpose, if by our advice 
Austria is driven to resume arms. 

4 For the Duchies France reserves to herself two contin- 
gencies, as the result of our preventing the restoration of the 
Archdukes — either the establishment of a kingdom of Etruria 
for Prince Napoleon, or the acquisition of Savoy as compen- 
sation to France for the annexation of the Duchies to 
Sardinia. Both objects were suspected at the outset of the 
war, but the Emperor thought it impossible to accomplish 
them. It would be a curious ending of the transaction, if he 
could plead that they were forced upon him by England as 



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490 LETTER BY THE PRINCE CONSORT 1859 

the only escape out: of the difficulties she raised, leaving him, 
besides the gain, a good grievance against England I ' 

The warning proved in the sequel to be prophetic, and 
when, a few months afterwards, Lord Palmerston and Lord 
John Eussell were vehement in their protestations against 
the annexation of Savoy by France, they, were reminded in 
peremptory language by the French Government, that they 
had been distinctly warned, that this would be the price of 
the annexation of the Duchies to Sardinia, and that they had 
therefore no right to complain of what they must have been 
prepared to expect- 

A letter from, the Prince a few days later (13th Sep- 
tember) to his daughter in Berlin, embodies his views on the 
political situation in both Germany and Italy : — 

6 1 am for Prussia's hegemony ; still Germany is for me 
first in importance, Prussia as Prussia second. Prussia will 
become the chief if she stand at the head of Germany : if she 
merely seek to drag Germany down to herself, she will not 
herself ascend. She must, therefore, be magnanimous, act as 
one with the German nation {Deutsch handeln), in* a self- 
sacrificing spirit, prove that she is not bent on aggrandisement, 
and then she will gain pre-eminence, and keep it; Sardinia is 
an example worthy to be noted. . u L'ltalia " is the rallying cry 
of that State : for Italy, not for herself, has she already borne 
the brunt of three perilous wars. For Italy's unity and great- 
ness the other petty States vote their incorporation with Sar- 
dinia as the only State that can realise and uphold the Italian 
idea. Austria and France permit Sardinia to have Lombardy 
(perhaps even more), but they attach to it the condition that 
the King shall go on calling himself King of Sardinia, for 
they feel that in the word <fc Italy " would lie a mightier power 
than in the acquisition of even great* and wealthy pro- 
vinces. . . .1 



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1 859 AS TO PRUSSIAN POLICY. 491 

The Prince had spoken to the same effect, in writing to 
his brother the Duke of Saxe-Coburg a few days before (9th 
September). His words afford the best evidence, that it was 
from no want of sympathy with the Italian cause that he 
upheld so firmly as he did the decision of the English 
Cabinet to keep aloof from the Italian imbroglio for the 
present. 

4 Austria,' he wrote, 'must be shown, that in an united 
Germany under the lead of Prussia lies her only protection 
against her two enemies, France and Russia, — and that it 
is not Prussia that is her especial enemy. That Prussia, 
unless she stand as the acknowledged head of Germany 
in diplomacy and in the field, can lead in neither, is an 
old proposition which no longer requires to be demonstrated. 
Sardinia has achieved for herself the leadership of Italy, 
because on three several occasions she has fought, and 
fought bravely, for Italy, with self-sacrifice, and at imminent 
hazards, without making counter stipulations for herself. 
Where Sardinia has established claims on her country's 
gratitude, Prussia has merely set up pretensions to it. Even 
now her Liberal statesmen show themselves covetous only, 
and not courageous? 

Passing from politics to family news, the Prince concludes 
the letter to his daughter of the 13th September, just cited, 
as follows : — 

4 Bertie arrived here the day before yesterday ; yesterday 
we had the Gillies' Ball, at which Arthur distinguished him- 
self, and was greatly applauded in the Highland reels ; next 
to Jemie Gow he was the " favourite in the room." 

4 Sir George Grey leaves us now, Lord Elgin having come 
to release him. ... He was a great comfort to Mama in 
her political vexations. Philippe [Count of Flanders] is to 
arrive this evening ; to-morrow noon I go to Aberdeen.' 



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492 



CHAPTER XCVL 

6 Albert left me yesterday morning for his great undertaking 1 
at Aberdeen, which, I have heard by telegraph, went off 
extremely well. He returns to my joy this evening again. 
I feel so lost without him.' So wrote the Queen on the 15th 
of September to King Leopold. That and the previous day 
had been devoted by Her Majesty to ascents to Jforven and 
Lochnagar. They were as successful as magnificent weather 
could make them. (See Leaves from a Journal, pp. 172-5.) 
But the Queen's eyes were * with her heart, and that was far 
away' in the grey metropolis of the North; and mountain 
and correi, sky and cloudland, lost something of their charm 
from the absence of him whose sensitiveness to whatsoever 
was beautiful or grand in nature made him the most delight- 
ful of all companions in a mountain ramble. 

During his visit to the British Association Meeting, the 
Prince stayed at the house of Mr. Thomson, of Banchory, 
about five miles from Aberdeen. Here he was met at dinner 
on the 1 4th by the Duke of Richmond, Lord fiosse, Sir David 
and Lady Brewster, General and Mi's. Sabine, Sir Roderick 
Murchison, Professor Owen, Professor Phillips, and others. 
After dinner the whole party drove to Aberdeen, where the 
Prince delivered his inaugural address to an audience of 
2,500 people. It occupied fifty minutes in delivery, and was 
more elaborate than any of his former addresses. Having no 
pretensions to being an explorer in science, or even to having 
kept pace with its more recent discoveries, — although few 



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i8s9 PRINCE CONSORT AT ABERDEEN. 493 

men not specially devoted to science were better informed in 
this direction than himself, — the Prince confined himself to 
general principles, and a comprehensive statement of the 
main object of the Association, in advancing the arrangement 
and classification of what he called i the universe of know- 
ledge.' The address will always possess peculiar interest for 
men of science, because of the keen sympathy which it shows 
with their pursuits, and for what it did in quickening the 
interest in them of both the public and the Government. 
It would be out of place to dwell upon it in detail ; but some 
portions may be cited here, as throwing light upon the 
character of the speaker. 

The opening sentences, inspired by the modesty of true 
knowledge, bracing itself under a sense of duty to a task from 
which it would otherwise have shrunk, were well calculated 
to conciliate the respectful attention of the most critical 
audience : — 

* Gentlemen of the British Association, — Your kind invitation to 
me to undertake the office of your President for the ensuing year 
could not but startle me on its first announcement. The high posi- 
tion which Science occupies, the vast number of distinguished men 
who labour in her sacred cause, and whose achievements, while 
spreading innumerable benefits, justly attract the admiration of 
mankind, contrasted strongly in my mind with the consciousness 
of my own insignificance in this respect. I, a simple admirer 
and would-be student of Science, to take the place of the chief 
and spokesman of the scientific men of the day, assembled in 
furtherance of their important objects ! — the thing appeared to 
me impossible. Yet, on reflection, I came to the conclusion 
that, if not as a contributor to, or director of your labours, I 
might still be useful to you, useful to Science, by accepting your 
offer. Remembering that this Association is a popular Associa- 
tion, not a secret confraternity of men jealously guarding the 
mysteries of their profession, but inviting the uninitiated, the 
public at large, to join them, having as one of its objects to 
break down those imaginary and huitful barriers which exist 



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494 PRINCE CONSORTS ADDRESS 1859 

between men of science and so-called men of practice — I felt 
that I could, from the peculiar position in which Providence has 
placed me in this country, appear as the representative of that 
large public, which profits by and admires your exertions, but is 
unable actively to join in them ; that my election was an act of 
humility on your part, which to reject would have looked like false 
humility, that is like pride, on mine. But I reflected farther, 
and saw in my acceptance the means, of which necessarily so 
few are offered to Her Majesty, of testifying to you, through the 
instrumentality of her husband, that your labours are not un- 
appreciated by your Sovereign, and that she wishes her people 
"to know this as well as yourselves. Guided by these reflections, 
my choice was speedily made, for the path of duty lay straight 
before me.' 

With much felicity the Prince introduced the name of 
Alexander Humboldt, then recently dead, as illustrating what 
he had said of the work done and doing by the Association 
in bringing together the results of scientific inquiry, and 
establishing their interdependence and relation to each 
other : — 

' If,' he said, * the activity of this Association, such as I 
have endeavoured to describe it, ever found, or could find, its 
personification in one individual — its incarnation, as it were — 
this had been found in that distinguished and revered 'philo- 
sopher who has been removed from amongst us in his ninetieth 
year, within these last few months. Alexander von Humboldt 
incessantly strove after dominion over that universality of 
human knowledge which stands in need of thoughtful govern- 
ment and direction to preserve its integrity ; he strove to tie up 
the fasces of scientific knowledge, to give them strength in 
unity. He treated all scientific men as members of one family, 
enthusiastically directing, fostering, and encouraging inquiry, 
where he saw either the want of, or the willingness for it. His 
protection of the young and ardent student led many to success 
in their pursuit. His personal influence with the Courts and Go- 
vernments of most countries in Europe enabled him to plead the 
'cause of Science in a manner which made it more difficult for 
them to refuse than to grant what he requested. All lovers of 



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1 859 TO THE BRITISH ASSOCIATION. 495 

Science deeply mourn the loss of such a man. Gentlemen, it 
is a singular coincidence, that this very day on which we are 
here assembled, and are thus giving expression to our admiration 
of him, should be the anniversary of his birth.' 

Not less happy were the words in which the Prince brought 
his address to a close : — 

1 These meetings draw forth the philosopher from the hidden 
recesses of his study, call in the wanderer over the field of 
science to meet his brethren, to lay before them the results of 
his labours, to set forth the deductions at which he has arrived, 
to ask for their examination, to maintain in the combat of debate 
the truth of his positions and the accuracy of his observations. 
These meetings, unlike those of any other Society, throw open 
the arena to the cultivators of all sciences, to their mutual advan- 
tage : the geologist learns from the chemist that there are 
problems for which he had no clue, but which that science can 
solve for him ; the geographer receives light from the naturalist, 
the astronomer from the physicist and engineer, and so on. 
And all find a field upon which to meet the public at large, — 
invite them to listen to their reports, and even to take part in 
their discussions, — show to them that philosophers are not vain 
theorists, but essentially men of practice — not conceited pedants, 
wrapt up in their own mysterious importance, but humble 
inquirers after truth, proud only of what they may have 
achieved or won for the general use of man. Neither are they 
daring and presumptuous unbelievers — a character which igno- 
rance has sometimes affixed to them — who would, like the 
Titans, storm heaven by placing mountain upon mountain, till 
hurled down from the height attained by the terrible thunders 
of outraged Jove ; but rather the pious pilgrims to the Holy 
Land, who toil on in search of the sacred shrine, in search of 
truth — God's truth— God's laws as manifested in His works, in 
His creation.' 

The way in which the address was received, first by the 
audience, and afterwards by the general public, gave the Prince, 
much pleasure. He had dreaded failure, and it proved to be 
a complete success. Nor were such fears unnatural, written, 



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496 DISASTER ON THE PEIHO. 1859 

as it was, when his mind was torn with anxiety about the 
state of Europe, and too much exhausted with following the 
devious windings of diplomacy, and watching the movements 
of the great game of contending ambitions at home and 
abroad, to be free for the calmer studies which would have 
been a fitter prelude for the task. 

Scarcely had he returned, when a fresh source of anxiety 
pressed upon the Queen's attention and his own. Tidings of 
the disastrous repulse of our ships in the Peiho river reached 
Balmoral on the 15th. They were so serious, that Lord 
Elgin, then Minister resident at Balmoral, went at once to 
London to attend a Cabinet meeting. He returned on the 
2l8t, but came back to London on the 23rd, accompanied by 
Lord John Russell, who was spending the autumn with his 
family at Abergeldie. A fresh expedition to enforce the 
fulfilment of the Treaty of Tien-tsin was then decided on, 
and carried out in conjunction with the French, with the 
results which we have already explained (isupra, p. 307). 

On the 20th of September, the Prince writes to his married 
daughter, who was then making holiday in the Tyrol : — 

' You inhale mountain air, drink mountain water, thrill 
with mountain feelings, perhaps even play upon the " Jebirgs- 
jidarre ! " Most heartily do I rejoice at this change for you 
to the mountains from the mind-levelling monotony of the 
sand plains. Look up that lovely passage in The Bride of 
Messina, 1 where the chorus speaks words which I have for- 
gotten, but which vibrate in my heart : " Hier oben alleia 

1 This is the passage here referred to : 

Avf dem Brrgen ist Freiheit ! Der Haueh der G Hi fie 

Stetgt nicht hinattf in die reinen Lilfle. 

Die Welt itt vollkommen tUxrall, 

Wo der Mentch nicht hinkommt mil seiner Qual. 

On tbe mountains is freedom ! The famrs from earth's low 

Dark dene mount not where the freah winds blow. 

The world is all perfect everywhere, 

lhat man comes not with his struggle and care. 



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1 859 BRITISH ASSOCIATION AT BALMORAL. 497 

ist 9 8 wohl, wo der Mensck nicht hinkommt mit seiner Qual" 
or something to that purpose. 

4 Philippe [Count of Flanders] has hitherto tried in vain to 
"bring down a stag, but " mussed " [Aberdonicb for " missed "], 
and Grant has pronounced the appalling sentence- on hi pi 
that "he is just nae good at all;" be heaps on himself 
modest reproaches, "qu'il donne taut de peine a tout le 
vnonde sans risultat" Bertie shot a stag at the Dhu 
Loch. The day after to-morrow the Aberdeen philosophers, 
two hundred strong, come to a Highland gathering with us.' 

Unfortunately for the ' philosophers,' the weather, which 
had previously been perfect, proved capricious. The day was 
stormy, with occasional showers. These alternated, however, 
with sunshine, and were not sufficient to mar the pleasures of 
the Highland fete and games, which the Royal hosts had 
prepared for their guests. These lasted from two to half- 
past-five, when the Queen retired. * We watched from the 
window,' Her Majesty writes (Leaves from a Journal, 
p. 179), 'the Highlanders marching away, the different people 
walking off, and four weighty omnibuses filling with scientific 
men. . . . Much pleased at everything having gone off well.' 

The autumn was fine, and the Prince was able to follow 
his favourite sport of deer-stalking with success. Several 
long excursions were also made along with the Queen to 
points of interest, the details of which have been recorded in 
Her Majesty's Leaves from a Journal. The chief of these 
.was an ascent of Ben Muich-Dhui, a height of 4,297 feet, 
made on the 7th of October, along with the Prince of Wales 
and the Princess Alice. On the 11th the Prince sends his 
usual budget of news to Baron Stockmar : — 

4 We have once more reached the close of our Scottish 
sejour; two days more, and we shall be sitting in the railway 
train en route for the south. Our stay here has, as usual, 

VOL. IV. K. K 

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498 LETTER BY THE PRINCE CONSORT. 1859 

done us good, and the leave-taking will be again a great 
trial, especially to the Queen. She has been particularly 
well, cheerful, and active* Our last expedition was the 
greatest we have undertaken in the Highlands — the ascent of 
the highest mountain in the British Islands, Ben Muich- 
Dhui — and it turned out extremely well, considering the late- 
ness of the season. The Prince of Wales and Alice were 
with us. The former leaves Balmoral when we do, and is to 
accompany us in an excursion which we make from Edin- 
burgh to Loch Katrine, for the purpose of opening the great 
waterworks for the city of Glasgow, of which the inhabitants 
of Glasgow and the Western Highlands are very proud. 
From there he goes direct to London to pack up his things, 
and on to Oxford on the 1 7th. 

' Alice comes out admirably, and is a great support to her 
mother, Lenchen [the Princess Helena] is very distinguished, 
and little Arthur amiable and full of promise as ever. From 
Osborne we have good accounts; the two children are quite 
well, and Mama [the Duchess of Kent] makes no complaints, 
and is said to be looking well^ 

4 Dr. Baly, [Sir James] Clark's substitute^ is here just 
now, and we like him very much ; he will travel back with 
us, Clark staying on at Birkhall for another week. 

'The Duke of Newcastle is heie as Minister; Lord John 
left Abergeldie yesterday, and goes back by way of Haddo, 
where he is to visit Lord Aberdeen, to London. Not a 
single word has dropped about Eeform ; but that we are sure 
to have now. In the Italian affair there has been a lull for 
the la^t month. The Emperor Napoleon must be sick of 
the business, and wish Italy in the seventh hell. Mean- 
while there is nothing left for him but to sup his broth to 
the la*t spoonful, if we are not such noodles as to do it for 
him. He is said to be extremely incensed at Austria for 
not making his task easier, and continues fairly shut in 



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1 859 OPENING OF GLASGOW WATERWORKS, 499 

betwixt his assassins, the old Italian Carbonari, and the Pope 
and the French priesthood. The promises of Genoa and the 
assurances of Villafranca still remain, as before, in unrecon- 
cilable opposition. 

' The Chinese affair is very serious, for France will send, 
merely as our ally, 15,000 to 20,000 men, and through 
Egypt I and in Eastern Asia will be looked on as the stronger 
Power. 

6 We could not, truth to say, spare many troops from India, 
and the English regiments of the old Company have dis- 
charged themselves " in mutiny," because they would not 
serve the Queen without new enlistment and bounty. Never- 
theless we cannot bring the union of the Army to bear, and 
the old Indians here . . . are anxious for the formation 
of a new, separate English local army, which is not to 
acknowledge the supreme command of the Commander-in- 
Chief.' 

The ceremony of opening the Glasgow Waterworks on 
the 14th, at Loch Katrine, to which the Queen and Prince, 
accompanied by the Princesses Alice and Helena, went from 
Edinburgh, was marred by heavy rain, which fell throughout 
the day. The Works were upon a grander scale than any 
waterworks in the kingdom, and it was not without reason 
that the citizens of Glasgow were proud of them. To 
adopt a scheme, costing about a million and a half, and of 
which one of the features was a tunnel 2,325 yards long, eight 
feet in diameter, and 600 feet below the summit of the 
mountain which it traversed, and a series of seventy smaller 
tunnels, measuring in the aggregate thirteen miles, showed 
that the courage of the community was equal to their intel- 
ligence, in selecting the very best source of supply on which a 
great and growing city could depend. The Royal visitors 
returned the same day to Edinburgh. Next day they pro- 

X K 2 

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500 RETURN TO WINDSOR. 1859 

ceeded by way of Chester to visit Colonel Douglas Pennant 
(now Lord Penrhyn) at Penrhyn Castle, near Bangor, where 
the Prince notes in his Diary that they met with a magnificent 
reception. During their stay the Prince visited the great 
Penrhyn slate quarries ; and the singing by the workmen of 
some of Handel's and other choruses at Penrhyn Castle one 
evening is spoken of in the same record with warm praise. 
On the 17 th the Queen and Prince reached Windsor Castle. 

The fine autumn had been followed by an early and severe 
winter. By the 24th of October the whole country was bound 
with intense frost ; and in a hurried visit to the Prince of 
Wales at Oxford on the 26th, the Prince seems to have 
caught a chill, which, on the 29th, compelled him to keep 
his bed on that and the following day — a thing which he had 
never done, since his marriage, except during an attack of 
measles. It was the 3rd of November, before he was able to 
leave his room. On that day, he wrote to Baron Stockmar, 
fearful lest some exaggerated report of his illness might 
reach his friend : — 

4 1 write to-day, being in the way of rallying from a gastric 
attack, under which I have been suffering for the last fourteen 
days, and which kept me for two days in bed. You know 
the state in which you have often seen me when here, and are 
indeed yourself a sufferer from the same malady. The only 
new symptom I had was violent cramp at the pit of the 
stomach, which lasted very sharply for two hours at noon, 
several days running. Clark, who had stayed behind in 
Scotland, came back on Sunday. He is now quite satisfied 
with me, and I am able to-day to move about the house. I 
write you these details, in case you should hear the wrong 
end of the story in some roundabout way. I have absolutely 
nothing to reproach myself with, and can think of no cause 
for my illness, but the sudden incredible change of tempera- 
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1 859 LETTER BY BARON STOCK MAR. 501 

ture of the last fortnight. I hope it may have done you no 
harm 1 We have had a number of deaths here — all of your 
acquaintances — Lord Jersey, young Lord Jersey, Lord West- 
moreland, Lady Peel ! — all of one family. 

i We are expecting a visit from Fritz and Vicky, and shall 
also see your son, at which I am much pleased. He will be 
able, too, to tell me about you, and so will Lady Ely, who 
has gone to Coburg expressly to see you.' 

The old physician, himself so broken in health, that he 
had almost ceased to write, shook off his apathy on hearing 
of an illness, which to him was full of significance as evidence 
of what overwork of brain and body was doing. That repose 
which, in the following letter, he desires for the Prince was 
the thing of all others which the Prince's temperament 
would not have allowed him to take, even if he could have 
obtained it : — 

' 8th November, 1859.' 

' The illness of which your Royal Highness has sent me 
word has disquieted me, and made me very sad. Among its 
causes I reckon the worries both of body and mind to which 
you are daily exposed, the unusual heat of the year, and also 
the great strain on your strength, as well as the sudden 
changes in weather, from which in Scotland you could not 
escape. The unfortunate thing, moreover, about your illness 
is, that while your position is constantly exposing you. to the 
risk of having your health deranged, it makes it no less 
difficult to ensure the care that is required to restore it. All 
round you, there is a want of a thoughtful care for the repose, 
the tending, and the nursing which are so necessary for the 
sick and convalescent. I feel this more seriously now than 
ever, because the recent attack seems to have been more 
violent than its predecessors. The more severe, however, 
such attacks are, the more necessary it is that the patient, 



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502 LETTER BY BARON STOCK MAR. 1859 

during convalescence, should avoid for a greater length of 
time all disturbing agencies, and in everything he does be 
governed by prophylactic rules ; for under certain circum- 
stances it is possible for the physician to prevent^ but under 
all it is difficult to cure. Heaven grant you may soon be 
once more in a state to send me cheering news of your 
health ! 

4 At my age, and in my state of health, one naturally dwells 
more on the things of the other world than of this. Hopes 
and wishes have shrunk to a minimum. But it would always 
be a delightful fulfilment of my heart's desire to see my 
revered Prince once more on this side of time, and to be able 
to speak out all my thoughts to him. What might, perhaps, 
be discussed with advantage, were such a thing to happen, 
will not do in letters, which are always liable to be miscon- 
strued, or taken up in a wrong sense. . . . 

* You will now have your daughter with you. Scrutinise 
her closely, with fatherly but impartial and unprejudiced 
eyes, and let me know when opportunity serves what develop- 
ment her nature has taken. . . . 

* The present condition of politics in Europe strongly re- 
sembles that of Pandora's box. I cannot help referring the 
present evil state of things to Nicholas I., and the consequent 
alliance of France with England. The internal condition of 
Austria seems to me very critical. 

* From several quarters I hear that the Queen and all the 
Royal children are well. God grant this may long be so ! 
May He give you health, strength, and a stout heart (friscken 
Muthiy 

The Princess Eoyal had arrived with her husband from 
Berlin in time to celebrate the Prince of Wales's birthday on 
the 9th of November. There could be no better restorative 
for the Prince's spirits than the sight of those who were so 



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1859 LETTER BY THE PRINCE CONSORT. 503 

dear to him. A few days later (16th November) he writes 
aofain to Baron Stockmar : — 

6 . . . It was very kind of you to write to me. Your 
friendly sympathy has done me a great deal of good. I am 
quite set up again, and willing to be most prudent ; still the 
unfavourable conditions under which we live, and to which 
you allude, have no doubt their influence. . . . 

6 We find the Princess Royal looking extremely well, and in 
the highest spirits, infinitely lively, loving, and mentally 
active. In knowledge of the world, she has made great 
progress. 

* In politics the aspect of affairs is very perplexed. Unete 
Leopold has communicated, even to us, only this much of his 
interview with the Emperor, that he was much gratified by 
it. The same thing is also expressed on the other side ; but 
wherein the gratification consisted, or how it was caused, w« 
do* not know. 2 

L The Emperor is in "a regular fix," and he of Austria, 
perhaps, on the eve of a general revolution. His plan of 
government has utterly broken down. It has resulted in 
political, military, and financial bankruptcy. But with 
misfortune wisdom has not come. 

'What the Congress is to accomplish, 1 cannot divine. 
The Italians seem to have made up their minds not to take 
back their old rulers. We can lend no assistance to reinstate 
them by force. France is pledged not to do so, and Austria 
not to permit its being done. 

4 . . . To-day we have Prince Leopold of Hohenzollern 
here. To-morrow he starts for PortugaL Don Pedro cannot 
get over his bereavement. 

'Windsor Castle, 16th November,. 1859/ 

* In writing in answer to a letter from King Leopold, giving an account of this 
interview, the Queen *aid : ' I was sure you would be pleased with the Emperor 
Napoleon. No one has the power which he has of pleasing and fascinating others.' 



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504 PROPOSED CONGRESS. 1859 

It was, indeed, not easy to see what the Congress was to 
accomplish, which the French Government was now urgently 
pressing England to support. Tuscany had, on the 3rd of 
September, formally tendered her annexation to Sardinia. 
On the 24th of the same month the Romagna had followed 
her example. To both the King of Sardinia had returned an 
answer, every word of which showed his approval of these 
steps towards what he called ' the constitution of a strong 
kingdom to defend the independence of Italy.' But dread of 
a war with Austria, and of embroiling himself with the 
Emperor of the French, who was bound by his engagements 
at Villafranca to oppose the annexation of the Duchies, and 
who at this time entertained different views as to the disposal 
of Central Italy, compelled Victor Emmanuel to decline the 
tenders so frankly made to him. All he did was to promise 
to represent the wishes, and to support the cause of the 
revolted provinces before the Great Powers. But> in such a 
state of things, what chance was there of any useful agree- 
ment being arrived at in Congress, or indeed of Austria or the 
Pope entering into a Congress at all ? 

At the end of October France became more urgent on the 
subject than ever, and it was again brought under the Queen's 
notice by Lord John Russell, who informed Her Majesty that 
Lord Palmerston and himself would advise the Cabinet to 
accede to the proposal. On the 28th of October the Queen 
wrote to Lord John Russell : — 

4 When the Queen last saw Lord John, both he and Lord 
Palmerston were adverse to going to Congress. This change 
of opinion seems to indicate how evenly balanced are the 
arguments on both sides. The Queen hopes that they will be 
well weighed and discussed (in the Cabinet) to-day, and she 
will withhold her judgment until she is informed of the 
result of the deliberation. It strikes her, that much must 

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i$59 LETTER BY THE QUEEN. 505 

depend upon what the other Powers intend to do. If they 
were all to join, and England stood aloof, the effect would be 
very detrimental to us, and again, if our refusal, although all 
others were ready to join, prevented its assembling, we should 
incur a heavy responsibility towards Europe and Italy in 
particular. 

* This is why from the beginning the Queen was so anxious 
that we should make as few declarations as possible until the 
Peace" should have been signed at Zurich, and should abstain 
from publicly prejudging the questions, which would then 
have to be considered on much safer data, and with a certain 
amount of experience. 

' The danger of our going into Conference lies chiefly in 
the probability of our being intended by France to do that 
which she herself dreads to advocate, and to become the 
persecutors of Austria. The Confederation scheme is one 
which will prove so impracticable, and which Sardinia will at 
once put an end to by refusing to join the Confederation, 
that it would ba very unwise for us to make the destruction 
of that scheme our special object, rendering u$ responsible for 
its failure. We can clearly not sanction or assist in a forcible 
reinstatement of the deposed Dukes, yet if all other Powers 
should recognise in principle that they have a right to be 
reinstated, our alone denying them this right would place us 
on very awkward ground. 

4 Again, it appears more than probable that the Dukes of 
Tuscany and Parma may be abandoned, although their 
government was a mild one, and had not been complained of 
before the war, whilst there will be great efforts made to 
replace the Pope in the Bomagna, the misgovernment of 
which was the chief grievance, and the upholding of it the 
chief accusation against Austria. We can clearly be no 
parties to this. 

' Before everything else, however, it will be necessary 

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5o6 CONGRESS AGREED TO CONDITIONALLY. 1859 

thoroughly to consider what we have declared, in order to 
preserve perfect consistency in our conduct, without which it 
must become liable to much misrepresentation.' 

The Cabinet decided to intimate their willingness to enter 
upon a Congress, subject to the condition that force should 
not, under any circumstances, be used to coerce the inhabi- 
tants of the revolted provinces. This decision was forthwith 
made known to the French Government, by whom the 
invitations to the other Powers to enter the Congress were to 
be addressed. The Queen's apprehension that the Emperor 
Napoleon was pressing for the Congress, in the hope of getting 
England to do what he himself dared not advocate, was con- 
firmed by Lord Cowley about three weeks afterwards. He 
had had several opportunities of canvassing the question with 
the Emperor, when on a visit to him at Compiegne, from 
which he wrote (17 th November) to Lord John Russell, that 
ihe Emperor was no nearer to seeing his way out of his 
dilemma than ever :— 

* He admits very freely that he has made a great mistake, 
and he says that, could he have had an idea that the people of 
Central Italy would have been so little disposed to take back their 
sovereigns, he would have continued the war rather than have 
made peace as he did ; but that believing what he was doing 
would satisfy them, that is, that they would not object to the re- 
storation of their sovereigns with reformed institutions, he had 
entered into engagements with Austria from which he could not 
now recede. He looks, therefore, to the assembling of a Congress 
as opening a door of escape from his difficulties, he knows not 
how, neither does he much care. My impression is that he has 
no predilection whatever, or, if he has had any, there is none 
left, for the Archdukes — that personally he has no objection to 
the annexation of the Duchies to Sardinia, though his Govern- 
ment are dead against it, but that his real difficulty is the 
Eomagna. He does not take part against the Pope, and yet he 
£eels the glaring inconsistency of listening to the wishes of the 



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1859 PRINCE NAPOLEOWS ITALIAN PROJECT. 507 

people of Tuscany, Parma, and Modena, while be is obliged to 
turn a deaf ear to the far more poignant grievances of the 
Romagnese.' 

In the same letter Lord Cowley refers to a scheme for the 
settlement of Central Italy, propounded to him by Prince 
Napoleon — no doubt with the knowledge of the Emperor — by 
which Parma and Modena should be given to Sardinia, and 
Tuscany be erected into a kingdom, to which the Eomagna 
should afterwards be added. Let England and France agree 
upon this, said Prince Napoleon, and he was convinced there 
would be no difficulty in settling the Italian question. 
Tuscany, he felt sure, would never consent to be annexed to 
Sardinia. Her Majesty's opinion, when this letter was com- 
municated to her, as it was next day (18th November), was 
very briefly given : — ' The whole scheme,' she wrote to Lord 
John Russell, 4 is the often attempted one, that England 
should take the chestnuts out of , the fire, and assume the 
responsibility of drawing the Emperor Napoleon from his 
engagements to Austria and the Pope, whatever they may be, 
and of making proposals which, if they lead to war, we should 
be in honour bound to support by arms.' 

Happily, the policy advocated by the Queen prevailed. The 
Emperor of the French was made to understand that England 
would not be dragged into war ; and he had to turn his 
thoughts — with what results will afterwards be seen — to some 
other mode of cutting the knot of the difficulty he had 
created for himself. In the meanwhile the revolted States 
steadily adhered to their declared policy. Their leaders 
carried on the government in the name of the King of 
Sardinia. Lombardy was now secured to him by the Treaty 
of Zurich ; and the Duchies and the Romagna, by showing, as 
they had done, for now nearly six months, that they could 
govern themselves, were daily causing their resolution to place 
themselves in the same position as Lombardy to be more and 

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508 THE PRINCESS ROYAL, 1859 

more respected by the European Powers. After the Peace 
of Villafranca the Emperor Napoleon had said to Victor Em- 
manuel : 4 Now we shall see what the Italians will do when 
left to themselves ! ' 3 They had shown, and were still further 
to show, that, witli the pressure of Austria removed from 
them, as it had been by the results of the recent campaign, 
they might be left to work out their deliverance without 
the intervention of diplomacy. 4 

On the 3rd of December the visit of Prince Frederick 
William of Pr